On average, people would quit Facebook for a week for around $44, according to a University of Pennsylvania study, highlighting that the social network site may not be as addictive as researchers had thought.
The report also found that participants would be willing to go a week without e-mail for $99, texting for $73, phone calls for $73 and instant messaging for $27.
Those surveyed considered only around 16 percent of their Facebook contacts to be real friends, explaining why the site ranked significantly lower than phone calls. In short, people prefer to call or text friends, whereas they use Facebook for messaging acquaintances.
Richard Lurito, who conducted the study, admitted that the findings are a generalization, but said that they remain “statistically significant.”
Regardless, the draw of the social network site is apparent. In March, the American Academy of Pediatrics asked doctors to start looking for signs of so-called “Facebook depression” from failing to integrate into the social networking world. Symptoms range from changes to sleep patterns and eating habits to mood swings and a sense of social isolation.
Earlier this month, a study found that a day without Facebook could lead to feelings of isolation, cravings and sensations similar to quitting drugs cold turkey. The social network site now has around 600 million users.