The Science of Twitter Addiction


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I'm not going to lie, I have two twitter accounts. The one is for personal, and more often than not, professional use (i.e. tweeting my articles and those of my peers, etc), and the other is for my secret double life. When I say secret double life, I completely mean a fan account that I am on 24/7. I tweet when I wake up. I tweet all throughout the day. I use twitter during class and risk getting fired while tweeting at work. I need to be the first to know everything. My closest friends have been telling me for a while now that I have a problem, and my response is always the same: "Some people hurt others, and others tweet and watch Glee. This is my thing."

Of course, I brush it off that I am not hurting anyone, but am I actually hurting myself? With the world being on a fast-paced technological whirlwind, isn't it normal nowadays for people to be glued to their iPhones and their twitter feeds? Unfortunately, this is not an issue to take lightly, because twitter addiction is an actual thing. I am an addict, and acceptance is the first step toward recovery.

According to the Huffington Post, Anthony Carboni of DNews says that says that Internet addiction comes from the same part of the brain that enables gamblers to become addicted to gambling. While this makes sense for the sense of virtual reality running on a similar level as the internet, there is more speculation.

While addiction to twitter is not similar to being addicted to a hard drug, it is considered a "soft addiction", according to Media Bistro. While twitter/internet addiction isn't yet classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders just yet, it's well on its way. According to Static Brain, there are 58 million tweets a day, and over 500 million twitter accounts in use worldwide. These are ridiculous numbers, and they are only growing everyday, as 135,000 people sign up every single day.

If you think you are like me, and sense that you have a problem, there are steps, and from a cognitive therapist, for how to break the twitter habit. Some include giving yourself a daily twitter limit, or rewarding yourself for staying off the website. Regardless of your forte for breaking the habit, it's surely a healthy thing to do.

Do you guys think Internet addiction should be included in the DMS as an actual disease?



2 Comments

I don't believe that I am currently addicted to social media but since I have moved in here I have noticed a huge problem with beginning to occur. I miss my friends from home, I have a ton of free time and most classes approve the use of cell phones. At home i used my phone regularly but I was far more distracted and I did not use it at the dinner table with my family, at sports or at school. Now, I have no limitations to the amount of time I can spend on my phone. While doing homework I will go to answer a text and somehow end up on facebook or instagram for 20 minutes. The other night I had to actually give my phone to my roommate and have her lock it up in her desk draw with a key! I really do appreciate the resources you have provided and I am going to look into them so this problem does not get any worse. If you find yourself in serious trouble you could always get rid of your twitter account and quit cold turkey! Here is a website giving helpful tips on how to live without a cell phone.
http://www.howtogetfocused.com/chapters/how-to-live-without-a-cell-phone

I know there is an addiction being recognized for the internet that I am studying about in one of my other classes, this would fall under that? There are actually rehab centers in China that cure internet addiction. But you're so right there are so many different branches of the internet, that could be addicting. Do you think it's going to have to be branched out into sub groups? For example not just cancer but blood, breast, etc. Not just the internet but social media? Live streaming etc? That would be crazy!

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