A new study conducted by researchers at Michigan State University has revealed that excessive social media usage is very similar to drug addiction. The research report published in the Journal of Behavioural Addictions showed a connection between excessive social media usage and risky decision making, which is commonly seen in people with substance addiction.
"Around one-third of humans on the planet are using social media, and some of these people are displaying maladaptive, excessive use of these sites. Our findings will hopefully motivate the field to take social media overuse seriously," said Dar Meshi an assistant professor at the Michigan State University and the lead author of the study, Eureakalert.org reports.
It should be noted that this is the first study conducted by experts to determine the relationship between excessive social media use and risky decision-making ability.
Meshi added that proper decision-making ability is often compromised by individuals with substance abuse and excessive social media use.
During the research, experts analyzed the social media using pattern of 71 participants and determined their psychological dependence on social media platforms like Facebook. Researchers later asked the participants to do Iowa Gambling task, an exercise used to figure out the decision-making process of people.
At the end of the gambling task, researchers noted that bad decks were chosen by people who used to browse social media platforms excessively.
"They sometimes fail to learn from their mistakes and continue down a path of negative outcomes. With so many people around the world using social media, it's critical for us to understand its use. I believe that social media has tremendous benefits for individuals, but there's also a dark side when people can't pull themselves away. We need to better understand this drive so we can determine if excessive social media use should be considered an addiction," added Meshi.