Study: Social media websites are addictive - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Study: Social media websites are addictive

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"I'll be on twitter pretty much probably close to 6 to 7 hours a day," said Cody Belcher, a student at UAB. "If I'm bored, that's my go to app." 

Belcher is part of a growing number of users spending hours on social media websites. Researchers say the sites are addictive and can impact ones personal relationships. 

"I've seen some relationships with my friends get ruined over social media." said Belcher. 

Harvard University looked at why social media is addictive. A study found that sites like Facebook and Twitter not only stimulate pleasure but it provides a way for people to share information about themselves and others. 

Dr. Armand Schachter offers this warning.

"People's productivity at work will decrease where its going to be noticed. People can get fired from work for essentially spending too much time on their Facebook, or Instagram, any social media activity," said Schachter. 

As with any addiction, you must first recognize there is a problem and then find helpful ways to reduce usage. Professional help may also be necessary. 

"If you can't stop it at all, come see a psychologist or a psychiatrist..." said Schachter. 

"You don't have to know what everyone is doing. There's other things in life like having friends, going out to eat, going to the movies, doing stuff like that is gonna be better in time than having a social media relationship," said Belcher.  

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