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, an apartment, 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

How the World of Mobile Technology Is Affecting Each of Us

We’re in the midst of a technological revolution. Whether it’s the cloud, apps, software, or mobile, the pace of technological change is stunning. How do we make sense of it?

Facebook Free: Aftermath

Are there benefits from taking a break from social media?

Can Friends Raise Your Pain Tolerance?

Social networks have many purposes, some good and some bad, but who would have thought that they might work as a painkiller?

Why Do Animal Tragedies Go Viral?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on April 29, 2016 Animals and Us
A new study investigates why the death of Cecil the Lion became an instant world-wide internet sensation.

8 Ways to Convince Yourself You're an Exerciser

The way you define your identity has a major impact on how you behave. Here’s how to make “exerciser” a core part of your identity, especially if you haven't been active for long.

Sobering News on Suicide

The Internet has not lived up to its promise as a suicide prevention tool

Amy Smith on Psychiatric Activism, Rat Parks and Healing Art

The future of mental health interview series continues with Amy Smith on psychiatric activism, rat parks and healing art.

The Whole Foods Cake Case: Why Do People Fake Victimhood?

By Andrea Bonior Ph.D. on April 21, 2016 Friendship 2.0
What would motivate a person to create a hoax and claim victimhood, like what's assumed in the Whole Foods cake case? Several factors are likely at play.

David Webb on Activist Websites and Social Media

The future of mental health interview series continues with David Webb on activist websites and social media.

10 Tips to Protect Yourself From Cyberstalking

Cyberstalking is a quickly escalating problem that’s more likely to occur in an addictive personality. It's important to be careful with how you conduct your romantic life online.

"All Muslims Are Terrorists!"

By Izzy Kalman on April 19, 2016 Resilience to Bullying
News about terrorism has fostered Islamophobic bullying. Here is simple advice, consistent with Islamic teachings, on how Muslims can cope with Islamophobic bullying.

We’re Giving Bullying a Bad Name

Think your child’s school needs an anti-bullying program? Here’s why you might be wrong.

How to Explain Climate Science on Twitter

What can we learn from Donald Trump about climate science?

Trillin v. Twitter: Have They Run Out of Ordnance Yet?

Calvin Trillin drew online ire for a satiric poem about Chinese food. What does this tell us about the psychology of anger, racism and social media?

Keeping Children Safe

By Janet Hicks Ph.D. on April 08, 2016 Raising Parents
Children are talking to strangers online and, worse yet, meeting them face-to-face. What is a parent to do?

It's What Online Dating Can't Tell You

By Martin Graff Ph.D. on April 06, 2016 Love, Digitally
You can learn a lot from a person's odour.

How to Be More Likable

By Ryan Anderson on April 05, 2016 The Mating Game
With a few of these tricks, you can become the person everyone wants to be friends with.

Does Warmer Weather Really Make You Happier?

Now that warmer weather is here, people assume greater happiness and new love will follow. However, the data indicate many of these assumptions are iffy and often simply wrong.

Sense and Sensibility - and Sexting? A Wake-Up Call

Teen girls are at risk from social media, pornography and sexual pressures. What are the dangers and what can we do? Here are the stories, as told by Nancy Jo Sales.

Top Pacific Heart Stories of 2015-2016

April 1, 2016 marks the end of my 5th year of blogging for Psychology Today. Here are my top and essential reads for the last year.

Who Does What on Facebook?

Ever wonder what other people are actually doing when they look at your Facebook page? Here are some glimpses into who does what on Facebook.

The 30-Day (Facebook) Diet

What are the perils of being constantly connected in a digital culture? Can we take a step back as consumers and decide to digitally unplug?

Is it Shameful to Feel Lonely?

By Donna Barstow on March 30, 2016 Ink Blots Cartoons
This week's news in online dating: the NY Times praises Tinder, and Pew Research says, it's not THAT bad.

The Passing of Three Souls

By Susan Hooper on March 30, 2016 Detours and Tangents
When long-distance friends lose a loved one, can email, sympathy notes, or heartfelt Facebook messages take the place of a visit?

Digital Media Lay Bare the Ethical Hazards of Political News

Frustrated over the state of political journalism? So are journalists working amid industry-wide economic anxiety and reflecting on ethical lapses.

Psychology, Computers and Social Phenomena

How is the digitalization of society affecting the way we study human behavior?

Are Christians Happier on the Internet than Atheists?

Do Christians and atheists behave differently on the Internet? Research examines differences in emotionality, sociality, and analytical thinking by analyzing tweets.

Social Media Fosters Insecurity: How to Overcome It

Social media and the internet can make you feel inferior… if you let it.

Digital Don Juans

Meetups, conferences, bootcamps? Seduction communities offer men creative ways to gamify dating.

Writing an Online Dating Profile That Works

A new book provides solid tips for making your online-dating profile stand out.