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Researchers studying Facebook users have found that social media may be such a hard habit to break because it makes users feel good, and those positive feelings in turn may make users crave more social media.
“People are learning this reward feeling when they get to Facebook…”
The researchers conducted two studies of frequent and less frequent Facebook users and found that even brief exposure to a Facebook-related image (logo, screenshot) can cause a pleasurable response in frequent social media users, which in turn might trigger social media cravings. The combination of pleasant feelings and cravings may make social media too difficult to resist.
Most likely, that’s because Facebook exposure is a learned response—such as when children learn misbehavior earns them attention or when dogs learn going to the bathroom outside earns them a treat—and learned responses are hard to break, says Allison Eden, an assistant professor in the communication department at Michigan State University.