A useful definition of addiction is any activity that interferes with the normal functions of your life by disrupting your relationships and responsibilities with family, friends and yourself, at work and at play. While many condemn anyone who uses drugs, they reserve judgment about those who use technology in the same way: a fix, another rush, the next high, a boost to get over the obstacle in our way which is not as life-threatening as it is with a junkie.
Measured on a time scale, the addiction to Facebook and Twitter is more intense, more addicting. Depending on psychological characteristics and the variable strength of heroin and other drugs that are taken, most junkies can make it up to four hours between hits on average. Not so with Facebook or Twitter. There the next fix is measured in minutes.
Some Twittering appears to happen continually. Non-stop ’til bed time. But I’m not a tweeter so I don’t know for sure. These folks had some interesting insights and their studies and recommendations are all over the place, but it’s a start in understanding this troubling behavior.
(We’ll have a lot more to say about drugs. Spoiler alert: almost everyone has it all wrong, and what would work has not been tried on a broad scale. Too much money on all sides. Everyone from the farmer in Afghanistan to the border guard in Arizona to the DEA in Washington and drug rehab people in New Jersey have dollar signs in their veins. Nothing like a money high?!)