Social Addiction

According to the latest Retrevo Gadgetology study asking social media users such as when, where, and how much time they spend on sites and services like FaceBook and Twitter, many people appear to be obsessed with checking in with their social media circles throughout the day and even the night.

Do You Check Facebook or Twitter Before Going to Bed?

Yes, during the night or as soon as I wake up



No, never

Do You Update Facebook or Twitter after going to bed?


Under Age 25

Over 25

Any time I wake up






As soon as I wake up in the morning



Source: Retrevo, May 2010

Not only do social media fanatics check Facebook and Twitter throughout the day, almost half of the respondents said they check in on the social media scene in bed, during the night or as soon as they wake up in the morning. Younger social media users said they tweet by night more than those over 25.

Do You Check/Update Twitter/Facebook First Thing In The Morning


Under Age 25

Over 25

iPhone Users

Yes 42%

   Before I get out of bed




   Before I turn on TV




   To get morning news




No 58%

Source: Retrevo, May 2010

 Among social media users, it appears almost half are so involved with FaceBook and Twitter that they check in the first thing in the morning, with 16% of social media users saying this is how they get their morning "news." iPhone owners stand out in this study as more involved with social media; they use FaceBook and Twitter more often and in more places.

Social media can be habit forming, concludes the report. 56% of social media users need to check FaceBook at least once a day, and 12% check in every couple of hours.

How Long Can You Go Without Checking In On Facebook? (% of Respondents)


Under Age 25

Over 25

A couple of hours



A few times a day



At least once a day



A long time



Source: Retrevo, May 2010

The study asked consumers how they felt about being interrupted at various times and occasions for an electronic message. Over 40% of respondents said they didn't mind being interrupted for a message, 32% said a meal was not off limits while 7% said they'd even check out a message during an intimate moment.

Interruptions Tolerated (% of Respondents)


Under Age 25

Over 25

During a meeting



During a meal



During sex



On the job



Don't like interruptions



Source: Retrevo, May 2010

The report concludes by questioning if these early morning users of Facebook or Twitter may be more addicted than interested. The author posits that it appears that social media may have begun to replace more conventional sources for news with many social media users saying tweets trump TVs for that "morning cup of news."

For additional information from Retrevo, and about the study, please visit here.

8 comments about "Social Addiction".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Matthew Smyers from RedShift, May 21, 2010 at 9:10 a.m.

    Facebook is the new Phillip Morris. Gotta get that fix!

  2. Mike Einstein from the Brothers Einstein, May 21, 2010 at 9:33 a.m.

    Every year a big snow storm hits Washingto D.C., and the entire Federal Government shuts down. The next day it's as if nothing happened.

    If we can survive 24 hours with no lobbyists, we should certainly be able to survive a few hours with no Facebook -- unless, of course, someone has an important weather update.

  3. Jody Gibson from TX ST Univ, May 21, 2010 at 10:07 a.m.

    As more and more people begin to use smartphones, these numbers will likely climb.

  4. Rob Frydlewicz from DentsuAegis, May 21, 2010 at 10:57 a.m.

    Regarding the chart about interruptions, is it interruptions caused by the respondent's device or interruptions created by others' devices? It would be interesting to see if there is a difference between the two situations.

  5. E.B. Moss from Moss Appeal, May 21, 2010 at 11:36 a.m.

    So sad. I was going to head outside for a workout, but saw this headline and had to stop, read the poll, then post it to Twitter. And while I'm on Twitter, maybe I'll just check my mentions, or a link to that other interesting article that someone just tweeted, and then...

  6. Al Hamman, May 21, 2010 at 11:52 a.m.

    Sex must not be as good today as it used to be when I was young judging by the % of people who wouldn't mind a Facebook interruption. Geez!

  7. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, May 21, 2010 at 12:24 p.m.

    Egad, all these "do you" questions! No wonder I have trouble getting my research methods students to unlearn the bad habits promoted by so-called researchers who don't know how to write survey questions.

    When you ask people yes/no questions, you effectively squash all subtlety that might lead to better understanding. Thus, someone who means "absolutely yes" is lumped with someone who means "yes, I guess, maybe" and someone who means "no never" is lumped in with someone who means "hardly ever, sometimes but rarely, so I'll say 'no'"!

    Would it be so hard to demand that all surveys ask "How often do you" rather than "Do you"? Maybe a Federal law is needed [sarcasm].

  8. Pamela Rutledge from Media Psychology Research Center, May 21, 2010 at 4:24 p.m.

    I'm with Douglas Ferguson above. Not only is the methodology here questionable, but extrapolating the behavior to 'addiction' is irresponsible. To suggest that the participants are more 'addicted' than interested may get headlines but it is attribution on the part of the authors, not science. Further, an addiction is a medical diagnosis determined by a series of criteria, not one of which is included in the questions asked. Nor do the authors make any distinction as to context of the messages or senders. The only valid conclusions from this study is that people have adjusted their communication habits to take advantage of the new tools available and that compared to older means of communications, it's easier to be more frequently in touch using these. For a marketer, it is good information about how to reach an audience. For a social scientist, it falls seriously short.

Next story loading loading..