Checking a Twitter, Facebook or email account for updates may be more tempting than alcohol and cigarettes, according to researchers who tried to measure how well people regulate their daily desires.
Researchers also found that while sleep and sex may be stronger urges than certain drug addictions, people are more likely to give in to their addiction to use social or other types of media.
More than 200 participants ages 18 to 85 were given used Blackberry phones to gauge their willpower "in the wild" outside a laboratory in the study led by Asst. Prof. Wilhelm Hofmann of the University of the Chicago Booth School of Business.
Researchers messaged participants seven times a day over 14 hours for a week to ask participants if they were experiencing a desire at the moment or had experienced an urge within the last 30 minutes. Researchers also asked participants the type of desires they felt, the strength, whether it conflicted with other desires and if they resisted or submitted to their urge