Are Americans addicted to Facebook?

A Research Study by Honest Data, Inc.

March 10th, 2020 - Last year, the chairman and co-CEO of Salesforce (Marc Benioff) said during a tech conference that Facebook "is the new cigarettes. It should be regulated." To some people, this might have seemed like a bold statement. Could a tech platform (like Facebook) really be as addictive as a substance (like cigarettes)? To explore this issue, we surveyed a representative sample of 2,133 Facebook users in the United States (ages 18+) and we looked for 18 "warning signs" of a potential behavioral addiction to Facebook. The research results (below) suggest that a segment of younger Facebook users feel the most common signs of an addiction including powerful urges to use, preoccupied thoughts about using, anxiety when not using, relief after usage, a loss of control while using, a need to use even when it threatens other parts of their lives, and an inability to stop using. Our research suggests that scientists and doctors should do more to explore the concept of a "Facebook addiction" and parents may want to be more cautious about letting their teenage children use Facebook. Our research also suggests that if people can become addicted to Facebook, then the government may want to regulate the company like a tobacco, alcohol, or pharma company as opposed to just a "tech" company. To learn more about our research, please download the PDF below. For inquiries about the research methodology, please contact

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