Social Media Addiction: Facebook And Twitter Beat Smoking As The Hardest Thing To Give Up

20/08/2014 13:02 | Updated 20 August 2014
  • Rachel Moss Lifestyle Writer at The Huffington Post UK

Here at HuffPost UK, we're big believers that every now and then, a digital detox really helps us to de-stress and get more sleep.

But it turns out switching off digital devices is actually easier said than done.

A new poll has found the majority of people would find social media the hardest thing to give up, with Twitter and Facebook being labelled as more addictive than smoking.

mobile phone

The study by retailer ECigaretteDirect.co.uk quizzed more than 700 people about aspects of modern life they would struggle to quit.

Social networking sites came top of the list scoring almost a quarter (24%) of the vote.

Although it's not a large group of people polled, the results are not all that surprising considering that another recent study revealed the majority of British adults feel they are "constantly looking at a screen."

Blogging on HuffPost Inspiration, Martin O’Leary says our technology addiction is causing us to miss out on real life.

"We spend so much of our life distracting ourselves from the reality of the present moment; going to the cinema, watching sport, devouring box sets, staring at our phones while trawling through social media feeds, we forget to exist in the present moment.

"Digital overload eats in to my time like an acid - but the cure is "self-discipline". To start, instead of my phone controlling me, I will turn off all alerts as these are nearly impossible to resist," he writes.

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Another HuffPost Inspiration blogger, James R. Marsh, agrees that our reliance on technology is getting out of hand.

"The line between physical and virtual reality is becoming more and more thin with complicated and somewhat unknowable consequences.

"But clearly, we all need some digital detox from time to time, if only to realise what we've missed and how far we must go to truly understand ourselves and the new world around us," he writes.

In the survey, struggling to give up social media was closely followed by feeling addicted to swearing, with 18% of respondents confessing that using bad language would be the hardest thing for them to give up.

Caffeine, smoking and TV also proved difficult to quit.

One man who took part in the study commented: “I think I would go mad if I had to give up Twitter and Facebook.

“I’d be left constantly worried that I’d be missing out on stuff which my mates are doing. That, and I’d be out of the loop when it comes to all the gossip.”

Here's the full results:

1. Twitter and Facebook – 24%
2. Swearing – 18%
3. Caffeine – 15%
4. Smoking – 11%
5. Reality TV – 9%
6. Biting fingernails – 8%
7. Chocolate – 7%
8. Picking nose – 4%
9. Speaking with mouth full – 3%
10. Cracking knuckles – 1%

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