A Study on excessive social media use

New research from Michigan State University shows a connection between social media use and impaired risky decision-making, which is commonly deficient in substance addiction.

Meshi and his co-authors had 71 participants take a survey that measured their psychological dependence on Facebook, similar to addiction. Questions on the survey asked about users’ preoccupation with the platform, their feelings when unable to use it, attempts to quit and the impact that Facebook has had on their job or studies.

The researchers then had the participants do the Iowa Gambling Task, a common exercise used by psychologists to measure decision-making. To successfully complete the task, users identify outcome patterns in decks of cards to choose the best possible deck.

Meshi and his colleagues found that by the end of the gambling task, the worse people performed by choosing from bad decks, the more excessive their social media use. The better they did in the task, the less their social media use. This result is complementary to results with substance abusers. People who abuse opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine, among others – have similar outcomes on the Iowa Gambling Task, thus showing the same deficiency in decision-making.



hence why I only have a facebook and block it most the time with freedom app haha.

never really saw the benefit of any social media for most things besides maybe networking. Do we really need to post selfies and know what is going on in other people’s lives? twitter and instagram and the worst… cesspools of complaints, selfies, lame overused quotes, and unwarranted opinions on everything.

I will pass


Just some background on the IGT, so that it’s clear what their conclusion is based on:

…your “value-based decision making” is evaluated based upon your choosing of random cards. Here another interesting study:

The observations of this study indicate that EV is not predictive for choice behaviors as suggested by IGT. It seems that immediate gain eventually resulted in a long-term loss. The basic assumption of IGT is thus no longer plausible to assure the foresighted decision makers in the Iowa Gambling Task.

1 Like

Seems the IGT is a derivative of Venkman’s ESP test… :rofl:

I’m not surprised at the correlation. In my university undergraduate studies I took a class on addiction. It mostly focused on drug addiction, but the professor told us that people can also get addicted to such things as online gaming, social media, and the Internet in general. Whether the thing you’re addicted to is a drug or not, it’s still an addiction.

I have said that I had to quit the multiplayer online game Runescape in 2013 because it was getting too addictive for me. When someone falls in love, I’ve read that it is like an addiction to the person with whom they’ve fallen in love.

As someone who socializes a lot via the use of technology, including social media websites, I have had to step back from using these websites as much when I realized I wasn’t actually feeling better socially after using Facebook or the like for an hour straight - in fact, sometimes I felt worse. For me at least, it’s about quality over quantity. Not so for an addict.

1 Like