No sex (or smokes), please -- we're tweeting

A new study suggests that Internet users would rather log onto a social network than have a smoke... or even a roll in the hay. (Well, German Internet users, anyway.)

Daniel Terdiman Former Senior Writer / News
Daniel Terdiman is a senior writer at CNET News covering Twitter, Net culture, and everything in between.
Daniel Terdiman
James Martin/CNET

Sex sells, and everyone knows how addictive cigarettes can be. But a new study suggests that for some Internet users, a little time alone with Facebook or Twitter is more alluring.

Well, make that some German Internet users.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the week-long study, conducted in Germany by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, showed that the temptation to tweet or post a Facebook status update is stronger than the urge to have sex or take a puff.

"Desires for media may be comparatively higher to resist because of their high availability," Wilhelm Hofmann, the study's lead author, told the Times, "and also because it feels like it does not cost much to engage in these activities, even though one wants to resist."

The study polled people from 18 to 85 who used a special BlackBerry and were asked to tell researchers every half an hour if they felt an irresistible urge to jump into their favorite social network.

This is just the kind of study that inspires those who are not Internet junkies to tell people to get a life. But that doesn't make the urge to tweet or post to Facebook any less strong. Whether it affects Internet junkies' sex lives -- well, that's another matter.