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You may already know that checking Facebook and email, and surfing the web are incredibly tempting. But did you realize that these activities are actually more irresistible than sex? Those are the findings of a new German study that used a smartphone-based system to survey 205 men and women.

Granted, that’s not a huge sampling of people, but considering their age — they were all in their college years — it’s still pretty striking. The participants were supplied with smartphones for a week so that researchers could reach out to them regularly (several times per day, in fact) and gauge their desires at various times. The subjects took brief surveys that noted what they desired, how badly they wanted them, and the timing of when the yearnings occurred.

Now this doesn’t mean people’s desire to log in trumped their sexual longings — merely that they gave in to these wants more often. They basically showed a compulsion for media, and there’s little doubt where it comes from: Email, Facebook, television and other media are now accessible anywhere and at anytime, and at little to no cost, says Wilhelm Hofmann, the study’s author and an assistant professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Carnal opportunities, on the other hand, definitely aren’t widely available (and some would argue that they do come with some sort of cost).

“The sex drive is much stronger but it’s also much more situational,” says Karen North, director of the Annenberg Program on Online Communities at the University of Southern California. “We’re training ourselves to check our messages every couple minutes. People are constantly looking down to check their phones. They can’t stop.”

[Via ABC News]