Is Facebook More Addictive than Sex & Cigarettes?

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We all know people who are on Facebook all day, every day. Now a new study says our friends may not be alone -- Facebook is more addictive than even sex and cigarettes.

A company called Internet Time Machine, which searches for trends on the Internet, decided to focus one of those searches on addiction.

It found the term "Internet Facebook addiction" ranked 16th, much higher than searches for such addictions as sex, cigarettes, Oxycontin and heroin. Alcohol addiction tops the list.

The site writes:

The rise of social media and the fear/need to be in constant contact with status updates and tweets has created a problem for people with addictive personalities. The fact that accessing Facebook is so easy no on mobile or tablet devices only feed the addiction. New TV sets are being sold now with Facebook and social media widgets built into the remote control. The need to be updating and "in a loop" is growing ever more important as websites and people flood social media with messages, drowning out personal accounts and peoples interests.

Internet Time Machine founder Curt Dalton points out that many of the searches are done by friends and loved ones of the addicted person, rather than the person themselves.

"The biggest mistake that companies and individuals in Internet marketing make in trying to develop products for these addiction niches, is that they develop the product for the addict person," Dalton said. "In reality, the search is being done by a loved one or someone who wants to help the addicted person. The product need to be designed for a loved one trying to help, not the patient."

"Email addiction" and "Internet addiction" are also big search items, as the negative side-effects of this digital revolution are beginning to come clear.