Twitter Addicts Anonymous?

By Anna David 02/03/12

Is your Twitter habit out of control? You're not alone.

It's more tempting to log in than light up Photo via

Many Twitter die-hards probably don’t need to be told this but, according to a new study, tweeting or checking emails may actually be more difficult to resist than smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol. People, the study claims, are more likely to cave into their cravings to use social media than they are even to succumb to desires to have sex and sleep. The study, conducted by Wilhelm Hofmann of Chicago University’s Booth Business School, tested the willpower of 205 people between the ages of 18 and 85 in and around the German city of Würtzburg. Willpower, the study noted, decreased as the day went on. As for the cigarettes and alcohol vs. Twitter urges, Hofman told The Guardian UK, “With cigarettes and alcohol there are more costs—long-term as well as monetary—and the opportunity may not always be the right one. So, even though giving in to media desires is certainly less consequential, the frequent use may still 'steal' a lot of people's time.” These results will be published in the journal Psychological Science—a fact we will surely all be tweeting about when it happens.

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Anna David is the New York Times-bestselling author of multiple books about overcoming difficulties and coming out on the other side: the novels Party Girl (HarperCollins, 2007) and Bought (HarperCollins, 2009), the non-fiction books Reality Matters (HarperCollins, 2010), Falling for Me (HarperCollins, 2011), By Some Miracle I Made It Out of There (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and True Tales of Lust and Love and the Kindle Singles Animal Attraction (Amazon, 2012) and They Like Me, They Really Like Me (Amazon, 2013). Find Anna on LinkedIn and Twitter.