The Psychology of Social Networking

Expanding your social network beyond your familiar circle of friends can have surprising benefits. It's those weak ties that bring fresh ideas and unexpected opportunities: a job or an apartment or a mate. The Internet is providing new tools for cultivating and capitalizing on those networks; someone you've never met in person could change your life.

Recent Posts on Social Networking

Could New Facebook Features Help You Get Over Your Ex?

Facebook may soon be helping you manage your relationship with your ex by allowing you to limit how much of them you see in your news feed without unfriending or blocking them. Research on coping with break-ups suggests that Facebook has the right idea about how to deal with your ex.

Calling Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, YouTube

If extremists can use technology and the Internet to spread fear and terror, perhaps tech and Internet companies can pull people together to create an "iron dome" solidarity to counter those.

The Void Social Media Fills

The average American spends 7.6 hours a month on social media. Social media sites enable people to connect with each other no matter on which continent or in which time zone they reside. Although it allows people to stay in touch with loved ones around the world, can social media become an addiction?

How to Make a Great First Impression at Family Get-Togethers

Been invited to attend a family gathering by your "significant other" or boss? Here are 11 ways to "wow the relatives" when you're the newcomer to Thanksgiving dinners, family reunions, and other special occasions.

Does Faking a Fake World Make It Real?

When "fake" means "real," what are kids to think? And the rest of us?

Shame and Envy in the World of Social Media

From a mental health standpoint, you should be more likely to browse through the Facebook posts of your friends and acquaintances to make yourself feel better. The reality is that social networks can just as often stimulate the unpleasant emotions of shame and envy. Here's how to shrug off those posts that peeve you.

Why Psychologists Never Give a Straight Answer

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on November 19, 2015 The Squeaky Wheel
Although I understand people’s exasperation with psychologists’ inability to give a straight answer to a seemingly simple question, there is nothing we can actually do about it. Here's why:

Friendship Gardens – the Modern Victory Gardens

By Ravi Chandra M.D. on November 18, 2015 The Pacific Heart
A meditation about both changes in San Francisco and the necessity of community, home and belonging in this time of war and refugees. World War II called for Victory Gardens. Maybe our time of division calls for Friendship Gardens.

Signs of Overdependence on the Internet and Social Media

The Internet provides a constant, ever-changing source of information and entertainment.

Teen Sexting vs. Child Pornography

The simple truth is teen sexting is relatively common — a fact that really shouldn’t surprise anyone. I mean, weren’t we all teenagers once upon a time, with raging hormones and bad ideas and weird thoughts about what is and isn’t appropriate sexual behavior?

How to Use Social Affinity Groups to Engage Customers

A simple, cheap and effective method to use current social memberships of customers to influence their long-term behaviors.

Why Social Media Matters in the Paris Terrorist Attacks

Acts of terrorism need to be public to get attention, to spread fear. Social media amplifies it all. People around the world instantaneously see the horror and feel the sense of vulnerability and chaos. Social media also shows terrorism for what it is, senseless, reprehensible violence. Because of this, it brings people together and strengthens the resolve to oppose it.

Can't We Just Talk?

Can’t we just talk? Is social media replacing our ability to connect and empathize?

The Assault on the American Mind

By Ravi Chandra M.D. on November 15, 2015 The Pacific Heart
A response to recent Atlantic articles about campus unrest and the supposed "coddling" of the American mind. We can't tell students they're "too sensitive" and that they should "lighten up and get over it." The moment calls for more than just free speech or intellectualizing. We need empathic inclusion.

Is Virtual Virtue a Virtue or a Vice?

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 15, 2015 Ambigamy
If you're a little troubled by the lightweight gesture of simply Praying for Paris, Je suis Charlie, or just clicking to superimpose the French Flag on our Facebook pictures, you're tapping into an old concern, whether little gestures are empty or useful.

Research Reveals New Risks for Daily Social Media Users

By Bobby Hoffman Ph.D. on November 13, 2015 Motivate!
Social media usage is rampant, but the seemingly innocuous practice can be lethal to psychological health. Are you or your loved ones vulnerable to the hidden consequences of device devotion?

Replaced by the Ex in a Very Public Way?

Did the ex replace you in a very public way? #GetOverIt

Protecting Your Kids (and Yourself) Online

Ideally, whether intended to protect kids or contain adults, parental control software will stop many online problems from happening. That said, these products do not guarantee smooth sailing. In reality, even the best software can’t stop everything. Plus, a persistent and tech-savvy user (of any age) can nearly always find ways to circumvent both the filtering and the acc

The Personality Profile of the Selfie-Addict

Psychologists from Germany and Poland reveal the personality traits of men and women who can't help posting selfies online.

Does Having a Pet Make You More Attractive?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on November 09, 2015 Animals and Us
Research on members of the Internet dating site reveals the surprising importance dogs and cats can play in modern romance.

The Anxieties of Dating

By Stan Tatkin Psy.D. on November 05, 2015 The Puzzle of Love
Research shows that an insecure attachment style can make people more likely to stalk a date, and suggests how to help young people avoid getting snared in an unproductive cycle.

Five Quick Ways to Enhance Your Online Dating Profile

By Martin Graff Ph.D. on November 02, 2015 Love, Digitally
There are simple ways to improve your online impression. For example, males who adopt certain postures are perceived as more attractive and the colour red has long been associated with love and passion.

Me, MySelfie and I

By Susan Greenfield Ph.D. on October 31, 2015 Mind Change
In 2015, selfies resulted in the deaths of more people than those from shark attacks. Why are we so obsessed with broadcasting our grinning faces?

Why Millennials Are Failing to Shack Up

By Caroline Beaton on October 31, 2015 The Gen-Y Guide
Millennials are marrying later and having sex less than previous generations. This is what's killing our romance.

Why Everyone (Including Introverts) Should Be Using FaceTime

Are you an introvert who prefers to avoid using FaceTime? You may want to reconsider, and hit "accept" the next time someone tries to reach you.

This Psych Major Tweets Bush

Will tweets on #ThisPsychMajor help psychology today?

#ThisPsychMajor Answers Candidate's Claim We Work Fast Food

After presidential candidate Jeb Bush said universities need to caution students who choose "that psych major deal" that "you’re going to be working a Chick-fil-A," psychology majors took to social media (especially Twitter) in reaction. The #ThisPsychMajor responses keep coming. The message: Do not belittle degrees in liberal arts or employment in service occupations.

Bliss Molecules and Love Hormones Propel Our Social Networks

Neuroscientists from the University of California, Irvine have discovered that the “love hormone” oxytocin stimulates the brain production of self-produced cannabis neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids—which are also known as the “bliss molecule." This dynamic duo enhances the pleasure of social interactions and drives our human urge for intimate relationships.

Can the Internet Actually Make Us More Honest?

"Fake it 'til you make it" is not a good strategy if you're selling authenticity. From news correspondent Brian Williams to YouTube celebs Sam and Nia, negative media stories provide powerful teaching moments that you can use to help your kids understand the importance of critical thinking, decision making, personal integrity and the power of the Internet.