Whenever you hop onto Facebook to do something specific, something strange happens and unintentionally you lose track of what you wanted to do, and get entangled in checking notifications, looking for what’s been recently posted and generally forgetting the reason of getting online on Facebook in the first place, Right ?
This doesn’t happen by accident, there is a science behind it, a psychological state that explains why so many of us are glued to Facebook, sometimes at the cost of our own self. Yes this own self is a black hole you can put in whatever seems relevant to you 🙂
Researchers have discovered trends in the way that we perform every major action on Facebook—liking, posting, sharing, commenting and even lurking. And there’s a ton of psychology involved in what makes Facebook so attractive in the first place.
Here’s a look at the psychology of Facebook: what makes us like, post, share and keep coming back for more. Why we love Facebook so much: It taps the brain’s pleasure center.
Lots of studies have worked toward figuring out what exactly goes on in our brains when we’re participating in social media—specifically, Facebook.
Nucleus accumbens – yeah hard to read, it’s the area in our brain which is responsible for processing the feeling of aversion, motivation and reward, has a strong connection with Facebook, this area processes rewarding feelings about things like food, money and social acceptance.
When we get positive feedback on Facebook, the feelings lights up this part of our brain. The greater the intensity of our Facebook use, the greater the reward.
A decade ago, we were not paralysed by the social media and the praise we receive through it, receiving praise or reinforcement from Facebook is entirely a new phenomenon, today we are constantly surveyed by our so called friends, about whatever we put out on display with a wish to receive feedback, mostly positive.
We were absolutely fine that when we made lunch or dinner and no one saw a photo of them other than those who are living with us, we were totally acceptable with the fact that the only feedback that matters is from those who are living with us physically and our happiness rest on that.
Today our moods are reliant on the responses we receive on Facebook, we are so affected by what other people think, completely ignoring those who live around, we are so concern about what we post on Facebook that if don’t garner a strong response or expected response, we tend to take down those posts or photographs. We have moved beyond posting updates on ourselves for the sake of information sharing and we have moved towards posting for the pure sake of reaction, hopefully positive.
Why we comment ? because we have something to say!. Personal messages are more satisfying to users than the one click communication of likes, psychologically, people who receive comments feel less lonely, People whose friends write to them on Facebook experience decrease in loneliness.
Comments are a powerful emotional driver. Users make the most of them by engaging often with their Facebook community and replying to fans’ comments to keep the conversation going.
For those who like being more conversational compared to just a single click communication of like, tend to do more commenting on Facebook, which makes them more satisfied and fulfill their appetite of getting a shouty attention.
Users who regularly “like” their friends’ content and comment on photos relatively frequently, most don’t change their own status that often. According to estimates, only 10% of Facebook users change or update their own status on Facebook on a daily basis
The psychology behind posting updates is that it gives users a feeling of socially well connected, even if nobody or very few friends like or comment on status updates, users will still feel socially connected and it links to the drop in loneliness.
On the other hand, when people see their social media statuses are not being engaged with as much as their peers, they can begin to feel like left out.
How do these findings fit with your experience? I’d love to hear your thoughts.