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Is social media a new drug?

April 27, 2010

Research released this week by the University of Maryland found that among college students, usage of different media outlets  has reached almost addictive levels.

The study looked at what happened when 200 students gave up their “media links” – cell phone, iPod, television, car radio, magazines, newspapers and computer – for 24 hours.   After the experiment, students reported feeling upset, lonely and anxious.

But aside from the emotional implications, too much texting and typing could have physical ramifications as well, according to Temple University researcher Judy Gold.

As the director of the Ergonomics and Work Physiology Laboratory, she’s been looking at college student’s posture as they text and type on their laptops.  In research presented at the American Public Health Association last fall, Gold found that too much texting could lead to neck and shoulder pain.

“[College students are] the age group that texts the most, so it’s important to know what the health effects may be to learn whether it will cause long-term damage,” says Gold.

Read more on Gold’s research here.

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