Social media can be as addictive as drugs new study finds

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A new study this week found that social media like Facebook and Twitter is just as addictive as drugs. The research firm, Intersperience found 53 percent of 1000 people surveyed said they felt upset when deprived of an Internet connection. Of those people, 40 percent felt lonely when not being able to go online.

"I would say I'm addicted to Facebook because my wife tells me I'm addicted to Facebook. Every time I'm grabbing the computer. I'm always checking Facebook first," says Dave who admitted to being on Facebook a lot.

Dave isn't alone. We received plenty of comments on our Facebook page when we asked if you're addicted to social media.

“It's not just Facebook, but its other media as well that contribute to the problem. People can withdraw from the world to a great degree and just live in their technological world,” explained psychologist, Dr. Harlan Heinz. He says the addiction can affect a wide spectrum of people from those who don’t have social outlets away from the Internet to people who are very social and want to expand their social contacts.

"I think it's the fact you always want to know what everyone else is up to," says Dave.

"When you reach the point there is addiction, I don’t think it's necessarily any easier than other type of addiction if it goes that far I think it becomes difficult to treat, difficult to deal with, and that's why you got to go ask for help," said Dr. Heinz.

Dr. Heinz says you'll know social media is an addiction for you when you have to have it and it disrupts your job, school, and personal relationships.

He explains, “I think there are many positive things about Facebook, and I think it is a good thing if it is used in a responsible way. Unfortunately there are many, many cases where it is a very severe problem.”

Dr. Heinz says this is still a relatively new issue and will continue to morph in the coming years as social media continues to grow and new social media outlets like Google Plus come on to the scene.

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