CBS Local — A professor at Michigan State University is comparing the use of Facebook to an addiction. Allison Eden says the social media platform not only makes people feel good by using it, but can lead to emotions of guilt from not being able to stop logging on.
The assistant professor at MSU’s Department of Communication was part of a group that studied why using social media is so hard to resist. In one test, the researchers found that frequent social media users had a more positive response to seeing generic images after being shown Facebook-related material.
“People are learning this reward feeling when they get to Facebook,” Professor Eden said. “What we show with this study is that even with something as simple as the Facebook logo, seeing the Facebook wall of a friend or seeing anything associated with Facebook, is enough to bring that positive association back,” she added.
The study also surveyed 200 Facebook users about their ability to control themselves from going online. The survey reportedly showed that people who failed to regulate their Facebook usage felt guilty about not being able to stop. However, the users felt even worse when they turned Facebook off completely.
“Media, including social media, is one of the most commonly failed goals to regulate,” Eden said. The researchers say the best way to curb the addiction of using social media is to remove the triggers from your environment. The study suggests removing things like the Facebook app logo from your home screen to help stop the temptation.