New research from Michigan State University shows a connection between social media use and impaired risky decision-making, which is commonly deficient in substance addiction.

Dar Meshi, lead author and assistant professor at MSU, said: “Around one-third of humans on the planet are using social media, and some of these people are displaying maladaptive, excessive use of these sites.

“Our findings will hopefully motivate the field to take social media overuse seriously.”

The findings, published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions, are the first to examine the relationship between social media use and risky decision-making capabilities.

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Meshi added: “Decision making is oftentimes compromised in individuals with substance use disorders. They sometimes fail to learn from their mistakes and continue down a path of negative outcomes.

“But no one previously looked at this behavior as it relates to excessive social media users, so we investigated this possible parallel between excessive social media users and substance abusers.

“I believe that social media has tremendous benefits for individuals, but there’s also a dark side when people can’t pull themselves away. We need to better understand this drive so we can determine if excessive social media use should be considered an addiction.”

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