In a study involving 292 undergraduate students -- 18 years and older, psychologist Julia Hormes from the University at Albany, New York, evaluated them on criteria commonly used to assess alcohol addiction.

Nearly 90 percent of them had an active Facebook profile. They were spending one-third of their online browsing time on the social networking site. About 10 percent of users experienced what researchers classified as "disordered social networking use".

"These participants reported addiction-like behaviour and showed irritability when they were without access to Facebook and an increase in use over time," researchers said. This group also had problems with poor impulse control which is a risk factor for substance addiction.

According to Hormes, the research may help categorise disordered social networking as a behavioural addiction, reported.

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