Home [STUDY] Jonesing For A Retweet: Twitter Harder To Resist Than Cigarettes And Booze

[STUDY] Jonesing For A Retweet: Twitter Harder To Resist Than Cigarettes And Booze

Sleep, sex and…Twitter?

A new study suggests that people are more likely to give into the urge to check email and their Twitter account than they are to smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol. While the study headed by Wilhelm Hofmann of Chicago University’s Booth Business School was limited in size, covering just 205 people between the ages of 18 and 85, it seems to confirm what many of us have suspected for years.

“Desires for media may be comparatively harder to resist because of their high availability and also because it feels like it does not ‘cost much’ to engage in these activities, even though one wants to resist,” Hofmann told the Guardian.

The study was primarily focused on willpower as opposed to addiction, and the moments when people were forced to resist urges to partake in an activity or deal with conflicting urges, such as the urge to sleep and the urge to stay out socializing. Sleep and sex generally trumped other urges, but checking media and work were generally put ahead of socializing and shopping urges.

“Modern life is a welter of assorted desires marked by frequent conflict and resistance, the latter with uneven success,” Hofmann said.

The study found that resistance to all urges declined as the day wore on, and that people seem to do a better job of resisting the urge to smoke or drink than many may have thought, given the addictive nature of both.

“With cigarettes and alcohol there are more costs – long-term as well as monetary – and the opportunity may not always be the right one,” Hofmann said. “So, even though giving in to media desires is certainly less consequential, the frequent use may still ‘steal’ a lot of people’s time.”

Photo courtesy of ShutterStock.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.