Is Social Media Causing You to Become an Addict?

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Is Social Media Causing You to Become an Addict?

Is Social Media Causing You to Become an Addict?

April 29, 2016

Most all American’s carry a small computer in their pocket. The modern smartphone is nothing short of amazing. The computing power, capability, and speed of your standard iPhone dwarfs that of an expensive desktop just 8 years ago.

With all that speed and connectivity comes easy access to games, many of which simulate gambling. And while gambling is a recreational activity for many people, it begs the question- do online simulated gambling games increase the likelihood the user develops a problem gambling.

Are certain users being conditioned to be addicts? Many of these games exist and are promoted on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, many of them start out as free but offer in app purchases. These in app purchases are the equivalent to rebuying at a poker table after you go bust.

According to a report from the Australian Gambling Research Centre (AGRC). People who play simulated gambling games for free online are more likely to become problem gamblers in real life. This ground breaking research comes closer directly linking online gaming with addiction.

The report — a compilation of online gambling related research over the last 15 years — said the proliferation of gambling games raised a number of red flags:

  • Because the online games are so realistic, the lines between simulated gambling and real life “commercial” gambling are increasingly blurred.
  • Simulated gambling is accessed increasingly through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Players are heavily exposed to commercial gambling site advertising on these sites.
  • In simulated games, players are protected from the consequences of losing — they can just play again if their luck turns. That creates unrealistic expectations of gambling in real life.

The AGRC report also raised concerns about online games that disguise their gambling components.

These games have nothing to do with gambling as a central theme. But they have opportunities to gamble embedded in the game.

Each year we are learning more about the link between technology, games, and addiction. It is important that as a user, you are actively taking steps to guard yourself from developing a gambling problem. If you spend too much time playing games, if your relationships or job performance is suffering, or if you find yourself preoccupied with the thought of playing; you may be developing a problem.

In Florida, we operate a 24/7 Helpline designed to furnished help and support to those negatively impacted by problem gambling. We’ve also recently transitioned our LiveChat and Text Service to 24/7. Visit our site at www.gamblinghelp.org.