BOFFINS HAVE BOTTLED what they believe is the reason we can't help ourselves when it comes to checking Facebook.
Researchers from Vrije Universiteit and Radboud University Nijmegen, both in the Netherlands, have conducted a survey of two groups of users - frequent Facebookers and, er, less frequent Facebookers.
The research showed that even glimpsing the Facebook logo or the pleasing blue-on-white colour scheme was enough to get the dopamine pumping in frequent users and might actually kick them off on a social update binge.
The result is a combination of craving and pleasant feelings which translate into "gimme some Zuck".
In the second part of the study, participants were found to have feelings of guilt for using Facebook, especially if they were trying to regulate usage and failing, and as a result turned to their crutch - Facebook - creating the type of doom-spiral normally associated with Double-stuffed Oreos and Banana Frij (apparently).
In other words, Facebook is addictive because it makes people feel bad for being addicted.
One of the secrets could be to remove widgets and icons from your phone screen to reduce those accidental visual cues that sidetrack you from what you are meant to be doing.
Allison Eden, an assistant professor at Michigan State University in the US, compared the stimulus to dog training with learning and reward.
"What we show with this study is that even with something as simple as the Facebook logo, seeing the Facebook wall of a friend or seeing anything associated with Facebook, is enough to bring that positive association back," she said.
"Media, including social media, is one of the most commonly failed goals to regulate. People try to regulate themselves and they really have difficulty with it," she added.
Facebook is no stranger to being accused of mind games. They openly admitted once to borking their service to see what people would do. µ
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