Sharing On Social Networks Triggers The Same Part Of Our Brains As Sex… Sorta

from the but-other-than-that-is-nothing-like-sex dept

A recent study (pdf) by Diana Tamir and Jason Mitchell at Harvard is getting some press for pointing out that sharing information about yourself is “intrinsically rewarding.” In other words, the reason people use Twitter to tell you about what they’re eating for lunch, is because it feels good to do so. I don’t think that’s a particularly surprising finding, but it might counteract some of the claims about how using such sites are making everyone lonely. Of course, the attention getting line is the part about triggering the same parts of the brain as sex — though the details suggest it’s really the same kind of thing as getting a brief glimpse of attractive members of the opposite sex. In other words, science has proved that talking about yourself to lots of people and seeing attractive people make your brain happy. Case closed.

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Comments on “Sharing On Social Networks Triggers The Same Part Of Our Brains As Sex… Sorta”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Beg to differ

After much analysis of the matter, the Little Head disagrees that it’s the bragging to one’s friends about what one is eating for lunch that makes one feel good. Rather, it’s the act itself. Furthermore, the Little Head politely declines to share what it’s had for lunch. (But, as claimed by the researchers, it was intrinsically rewarding.) Disclaimer: The Little Head’s perspective on such matters is notoriously limited in scope.

Shane Roach (profile) says:

I’m beginning to believe that the popularity of social networking is that it allows for socializing in a world where increasing pressures towards “productivity”, where productivity is defined as keeping your nose to the grindstone no matter how ineffectual the grindstone has been designed to be in terms of getting anything real done, has destroyed our options for personal interaction and left us deeply alone even when surrounded by people. We cannot afford to go out, and we are not allowed to socialize except briefly at work, but the internet provides a cost effective means of socializing.

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