"Addiction - The state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma."
That is the definition of the word addiction. Apart from narcotics, it has been used to describe the obsession that people develop for social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. But is this really true? Do people really get so fixated on a website that it can be called an addiction? And if this is really the case, is it a good thing or a bad one? There are a lot of people out there who seem to be condemning these sites, saying the younger generation spends less time studying now because of them or that the time spent on these sites is a waste in general.
But no matter what people complain about and how much they complain, the fact of the matter is that these sites are here and they are here to stay. They will probably be a more advanced and developed form of the same sites in a few years, but they will still be here because the web evolving as a social platform is what it was ultimately destined to be. This is what our human nature demands. It was inevitable that we become social even in the comfort of our own homes.
So, going back to the first question, are these social media sites an addiction or are people who are not used to change overreacting? It might seem like an easy question but the answer will depend on your own perspective on the situation. Which means the question is a simple one to answer but it is too diverse and personal. Some will complain about its supposed ill effects but all that talk will mostly come to nothing in the end. The reason for that is this - there will always be someone who opposes the new 'toy' and at the same time, some who cannot resist it. The latter being the majority of the population, (or lets say the part of the population with the louder voice on the web), the end of social media becomes impossible.
I personally believe that it is for the good of society as a whole. Communication is developing at an increasingly fast pace and social media has suddenly taken the lead and taking us to a whole new level. Take Google Wave for example and don't think about the fear of monopoly for a moment. It is quite an achievement. Of course it is the next obvious step to merge IM chat, e-mail, wiki, etc. within one single platform, but you and I did not predict it, it just looks obvious now that we're looking back.
So my point is, (and I'm sorry if I dint' make it too clear at the beginning) that no matter what field the progress is in, there will always be opposition, (although it is very important to have a few cynics around to keep our heads in balance). But you must also remember that progress will come no matter how much you try to stop it, and things will change.