From the periphery, social media appears to be a mindless and passive activity that we engage in to waste time. I know, from personal experience, that we often find ourselves scrolling through friends’ posts on autopilot, as if second nature. The author of this article contends that there are deeper forces at work – our behaviors on social media are driven by science and psychology.
The author first introduces the gentleman who, via an algorithm, likes every single post that appears on his Instagram feed. In a way, it changes his life. People view him differently and he suddenly has more friends. Why the sudden attraction? Apparently social media, specifically posting/liking/receiving likes, triggers hormones such as dopamine and oxytocin. In a way, people receive a ‘high’ from active participation in social media.
The article continues to explain why we engage in such actions as taking selfies, commenting on posts, and using emojis. Some of the observations are basic human nature, such as our interest in ourselves, and our desire to create positive public image. Some observations are more revealing, such as the ‘looking-glass’ phenomenon. Looking at our reflection does not truly replicate how we appear to others. We can better understand how people see us through selfies and the use of social media (perhaps examining our own profiles?). In any case, this article has many interesting insights that are worth reading!
Do you feel a certain level of satisfaction posting, sharing or liking? Do you buy into the physiological rush that the author describes?
Have you noticed behavioral changes in others towards you based on your internet presence?