The study was carried out by a group of German researchers, led by Wilhelm Hofmann of the University of Chicago. A group of 205 adults aged between 18 and 85 years old were asked to record each time they felt an irresistible desire.
The study showed that the temptation to connect to Facebook or Twitter was more difficult to resist than the desire to have sex, smoke a cigarette or drink alcohol. Wilhelm Hofmann, who oversaw the research, told the Los Angeles Times: "Desires for media may be comparatively harder to resist because of their high availability and also because it feels like it does not cost much to engage in these activities, even though one wants to resist".
The second most difficult-to-resist temptation was work! In fact, work turned out to be harder to resist than many activities and substances better-known for their addictive qualities (cigarettes, alcohol, sex).
While some will take these findings light-heartedly, others are already denouncing the dangers of the web and addictions that are often seemingly fostered by sites and their owners. And it's true that some web users can take things too far, cutting themselves off from almost any contact with the outside world to spend time in an online existence with their digital "friends". That said, in the digital age, social networks aren't the only habit-forming entities, as there's already plenty of competition from video games, online gambling sites, the Internet in general and smartphones.
Could you give up Facebook tomorrow?