Social media – the new smoking?

 

Sir, – In the latest news from the world of industrial negotiations Down Under comes an update to smoking breaks. No longer do workers want or demand time off to attend to their addiction to cigarettes but to a new form of addiction, Facebook.

Some workers are actually asking for breaks during the working day to check their Facebook pages with tacit approval from their employers.

The question as to which is more addictive is not so easy to resolve.

Cigarettes are physically addictive and quite likely to eventually kill you, whereas Facebook is psychologically addictive and likely to kill your social skills, which most would think is the better of the options.

The committee behind the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders recognises many forms of addiction and is considering further investigations of sex addiction and online gambling disorder, although not yet a Facebook-specific addiction. In time there will probably be far more people “suffering” from Facebook addiction.

It’s time to face the fresh air rather than the indoor alternative of Facebook, although facing a paper book is also encouraged. – Yours, etc,

DENNIS FITZGERALD,

Melbourne,

Australia.