I think there are many technical definitions of addiction. Informally, addictions are a conflict the desire to get a hit right now in a way that sabotages longer-term desires. Or maybe habits that seem worth continuing while we have them, but we are glad to avoid when we stop. That includes social media, of course: Allcott et al. (2019).

Not much to say here right now; Perhaps see weaponised addiction for some hot takes.


β€œAddiction Showcases the Brain’s Flexibility.” n.d. Science News (blog).
Allcott, Hunt, Luca Braghieri, Sarah Eichmeyer, and Matthew Gentzkow. 2019. β€œThe Welfare Effects of Social Media.” Working Paper 25514. National Bureau of Economic Research.
Becker, Gary S., and Kevin M. Murphy. 1988. β€œA Theory of Rational Addiction.” The Journal of Political Economy, 675–700.
Dezfouli, Amir, Kristi Griffiths, Fabio Ramos, Peter Dayan, and Bernard W. Balleine. 2019. β€œModels That Learn How Humans Learn: The Case of Decision-Making and Its Disorders.” PLOS Computational Biology 15 (6): e1006903.
Dezfouli, Amir, Richard Nock, and Peter Dayan. 2020. β€œAdversarial Vulnerabilities of Human Decision-Making.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117 (46): 29221–28.
Lin, Liu yi, Jaime E. Sidani, Ariel Shensa, Ana Radovic, Elizabeth Miller, Jason B. Colditz, Beth L. Hoffman, Leila M. Giles, and Brian A. Primack. 2016. β€œAssociation Between Social Media Use and Depression Among U.s. Young Adults.” Depression and Anxiety 33 (4): 323–31.
Nutt, D. J. 2009. β€œEquasy β€” An Overlooked Addiction with Implications for the Current Debate on Drug Harms.” Journal of Psychopharmacology 23 (1): 3–5.
O’Connor, Mary-Frances, David K. Wellisch, Annette L. Stanton, Naomi I. Eisenberger, Michael R. Irwin, and Matthew D. Lieberman. 2008. β€œCraving Love? Enduring Grief Activates Brain’s Reward Center.” NeuroImage 42 (2): 969–72.
Olekalns, Nilss, and Peter Bardsley. 1996. β€œRational Addiction to Caffeine: An Analysis of Coffee Consumption.” The Journal of Political Economy 104 (5): 1100–1104.
Primack, Brian A., Ariel Shensa, CΓ©sar G. Escobar-Viera, Erica L. Barrett, Jaime E. Sidani, Jason B. Colditz, and A. Everette James. 2017. β€œUse of Multiple Social Media Platforms and Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety: A Nationally-Representative Study Among U.S. Young Adults.” Computers in Human Behavior 69 (April): 1–9.

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