Social media addiction recognized as official condition in UK
LONDON — If your brain desires to retweet faster than your fingers allow, United Kingdom researchers believe you may have a clinical condition.
Shortly after the release of a study by the University of Chicago in 2012 that found social media can be even more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol, researchers at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations in London began digging deeper into the matter.
According to Reuters, their research found that features like “retweets” and “likes” can provide their users with a burst of the addictive neurotransmitter dopamine.
Richard Graham, a consultant psychiatrist doctor at the clinic, says he treats around 100 social media addicts a year.
“They start to miss or avoid doing the necessary things in life, even at a fundamental level of self-care,” Graham said. “They delay eating or avoid eating or drinking, delay sleep, miss meetings or delay getting into work or college.”
His patients range from children to 35-year-old adults, and include at least one professional soccer player.