By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – Parents often jokingly say their kids are addicted to their phones, but excessive social media use is a real concern. Now, new research from Michigan State University finds a connection between heavy social media use and behaviors associated with drug addiction.

Researchers surveyed more than 70 participants to assess their psychological dependence on Facebook and then had them do a gambling exercise measuring bad decision making, like whether they fail to learn from their mistakes and continue down a negative path.

They found that those who performed worse on the gambling task tended to use social media heavily.  The better they did, the less they relied on social media.

People who abuse substances like opioids and cocaine tend to perform similarly on the gambling task.

Experts say while social media is largely good, there is a dark side and we need to figure out if excessive use should be considered an addiction.

Dr. Mallika Marshall


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