Earlier this week, a University of Chicago research team released the results of their study that measured willpower of 205 individuals between the ages of 18 and 85. The team discovered that the “desire for social media was far tougher to resist than that of sexual urges, spending impulses and alcohol, tobacco, and coffee” (Kevin Allen, Ragan).
Although I’m slightly skeptical about the procedure the University of Chicago’s study used to measure willpower, I still believe that the desire for social media, or to access email, is stronger than smoking or drinking.
There’s a lot to take into account about social media and emails in comparison to smoking. For example, nowadays you can’t light up:
- At your desk or in the office
- In the middle of a meeting
- In bed first thing in the morning, or last thing at night (traditionally)
- While on the train to work
- In the middle of the gym
An individual doesn’t have to excuse him or herself to look at or access social media when a computer, tablet, iPad, smart phone, etc. is within reach. Which, both fortunately and unfortunately, most people don’t go anywhere without their phones these days.
Also, the habits of constantly staying on top of current events, the latest relevant topics, and timely responding to emails are far more encouraged than smoking or drinking.
Personally, I think that UChicago came to an exceptionally valid conclusion, but social media is much more easily accessible and encouraged throughout the day than coffee, shopping, alcohol, or tobacco.