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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
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Social Media Sites Top Addiction Charts

A majority of participants find their social media urges "irresistable."

Cigarettes and alcohol may not be the most addicting drugs on the market, according to a recent study. 

A team from the University of Chicago's business school has suggested everyone's suspicion: social networking is addictive. So addictive that constantly using sites like Facebook and Twitter may be a harder vice to kick than smoking and drinking. 

In fact, Malboro Reds came in second to texting and checking Facebook and Twitter.

The week-long study polled 205 people, ages 18 to 25, in Wurtzburg, Germany on their social media willpower.

Participants were asked to use BlackBerry smartphones seven times a day to record when they felt the urge to use social media, whether they gave into their desire, and how severe each desire was on a scale from mild to "irresistible."

The results of this study found that out of 10,558 responses, 7,827 responses fell into "desirable episodes." As the day wore on, the willpower weakened.

Researchers found that participants were more likely to give into social media longings than nicotine.

Several USC students found the results correlated with their own social media tendencies.

"I think that people are more susceptible to Facebook addiction because it does not appear to be harmful," said freshman Madison McBride. "Whereas people are warned about the effects of nicotine."

The "minimal" consequences of Facebook versus those of lighting up may be the reason people don't feel guilty sneaking a peek at their newsfeed during meetings and class.

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