Study: Social Media is Harder to Resist than Sex and Cigarettes
If your website or blog still hasn't made the jump to social media, a new study issued by Booth Business School at Chicago University will have you thinking twice. The results of the study indicate that social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are more difficult to resist than alcohol, cigarettes, sleep and even sex.
The study involved 205 male and female participants ranging in age from 18 to 85. However, all of the subjects in the study were German, making it possible that factors such as culture and geography may have influenced the results.
Skip Tobacco? No Problem. Skip Twitter? Uh... About That...
During the study, each of the 205 participants received a BlackBerry and seven text messages per day for a total of one week. Each time a participant received a text message, he or she had to respond with certain bits of information, such as the type of craving they were experiencing (cigarettes, coffee, alcohol, sleep, sex, social media, etc.) and the strength of that craving.
After analyzing over 10,500 responses to the messages, the researchers concluded that most participants were easily able to control their cravings for libations such as coffee, sex, online shopping and cigarettes throughout the day. However, the average participant found it much more difficult to resist social media as the day went on.
According to lead researcher Wilhelm Hofmann, the results may be due to the fact that things such as cigarettes and alcohol cost money, and things such as sleep and sex may be difficult to obtain, while social media is basically always available and always free. Since social media doesn't have any apparent long-term costs (other than your time), it makes it more difficult to resist.
The full text of the study will appear in the Psychological Science Journal on a future date.
What Does This Mean for Your Site or Blog?
Obviously, this makes it official - people love social media, maybe a little too much. The best way to capitalize on this is by ensuring that you market your site - heavily, smartly, and with dedication and an eye on quality - through Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. Look for up-and-coming social media sites like Pinterest, and stake your claim just as traffic levels are starting to explode.
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