By David Lazarus, Los Angeles Times –
LOS ANGELES — Turns out that when you think of Facebook, you may be feeling a hunka-hunka burning love.
Cue the Barry White makeout music.
Researchers at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business say the desire to indulge in Facebook, Twitter and other social-media pastimes is among the strongest temptations we now face — right up there with sex and cigarettes.
The researchers monitored 205 people for an entire week to gauge their ability to resist common daily desires — specifically, the urge to check their social-media pages or mobile devices.
Subjects ranged in age from 18 to 85. They were given a BlackBerry mobile device and asked to let the researchers know every 30 minutes if they had a scorching need to drop by their online hangouts.
They were also asked to mentally document other urges, such as smoking, drinking, sleeping and, well, you know. The participants were instructed to rate just how strong those desires were, ranging from “strong” to “irresistible.”
The researchers determined that resisting the temptation to hit Twitter, Facebook and other social media was harder to resist than the other urges people encountered.
“Desires for media may be comparatively harder to resist because of their high availability and also because it feels like it does not cost much to engage in these activities, even though one wants to resist,” says Wilhem Hofmann, lead author of the study.
Cheap thrills, in other words.
But whatever it takes.