Researchers from Harvard have discovered why people become addicted to social media sites, including Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
According to researchers, the act of sharing information about oneself is equivalent to the pleasure people get from eating food, receiving money, and having sex. The level of satisfaction varies from person to person, but it’s presence is indisputable.
Based on statistics, around 80% of all posts on social media sites contain announcements about personal experiences, reinforcing the researcher’s theories.
Diana Tamir, the lead researcher, and Jason P. Mitchell—a co-author—designed a series of experiments that measured the reward response that people get when they talk about themselves. Participants of the study were hooked to machines that monitored their brain activity throughout the experiment.
The findings indicated that people’s brains were strongly engaged when they were talking about themselves, and less engaged when topics turned to something or someone else.
“I think the study helps to explain why people utilize social media websites so often,” explained Tamir. “I think it helps explain why Twitter exists and why Facebook is so popular, because people enjoy sharing information about each other.”