A smartphone.

Dreamstime

Study: Heavy social media users share traits with drug addicts

January 16, 2019 - 11:37 am
Categories: 

EAST LANSING, MI (1010 WINS) -- Are you addicted to social media?

RELATED: Social media and misinformation: It's a game of whack-a-mole | Report: Russia still using social media to roil US politics | Conservatives: Social media checks for gun buyers would violate 1st, 2nd Amendments

Michigan State University researchers say they've found heavy social media users tend to make riskier decisions with negative consequences -- a trait usually seen in drug addicts.

"Around one-third of humans on the planet are using social media, and some of these people are displaying maladaptive, excessive use of these sites," said Dar Meshi, the study's lead author and assistant professor at Michigan State.

Meshi's team put 71 people through the Iowa Gambling Task, which measures decision-making ability in substance abusers.

"Decision-making is oftentimes compromised in individuals with substance use disorders. They sometimes fail to learn from their mistakes and continue down a path of negative outcomes," Meshi said.

Heavy social media users in the group said they often thought about the platforms when they were not using them. They say users also tend to lose sleep because of their online activities.

Meshi said figuring out what drives social media use, can also help us better understand its dark side.