Women are more likely than men to be addicted to Facebook

Woman on Facebook illustration 
By: John Roberts 

Since we all know that women like to gossip and share their life with friends more than men, it should not come as a surprise that women are more likely to be addicted to Facebook than men.

Women are more likely to be addicted to Facebook, and they can blame their genes for it, a new study shows.

The study by researchers at the University of Bonn, has shown new evidence of a genetic variant linked to Internet addiction, and the link appeared more frequently in women.

The study's lead author Dr. Christian Montag said that it showed Internet addiction "is not a figment of our imagination."

Researchers interviewed 843 people about their Internet habits, eventually whittling the group to 132 online addicts.

The addicts were compared with a group of "healthy" people, and it was learned that the 132 subjects exhibited problematic Internet behavior were more likely to be carriers of the gene variant.

Those affected were more likely to be women.

"The sex-specific genetic finding may result from a specific subset of Internet dependency, such as the use of social networks or whatever," Montag was quoted as saying.

Montag suggested that the popularity of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter among women could be behind the trend, but added that further studies are needed.

"It has been shown that Internet addiction is not a figment of our imagination," said Montag, who is based in the Department of Biological and Differential Psychology at the University of Bonn.

The study showed that addicts’ thoughts revolve around the Internet during the day, and the belief that their welfare is severely affected if they have to go without Internet access.

The same genetic variant found frequently in Internet addicts has been linked to other forms of addiction, including nicotine addiction, loneliness and depression.

"What we already know about the acetylcholine receptor in the brain, nicotine is a mutation in the gene linked to promote addictive behavior," said Montag.