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 Your Twitter Use Reveal a Secret to Happiness?

Those who score high on happiness, have happier immediate neighbors in terms of Twitter interaction, than those who are two or three links away, whose good cheer declines the further away from a very happy person they are. Large sources of happiness on Twitter, also seemed to have more interactions with extended networks.

When Social Media Goes Too Far

At last count, the video depicting the tragic fatal shooting of a young news reporter in Virginia had garnered over 10 million views on social media. Despite warnings of its extremely graphic content- or perhaps because of that warning- as soon as the video was posted it went viral. Why is it that so many people were drawn to something so disturbing?

Mass Shootings and Mass Media

By Helen M Farrell M.D. on August 29, 2015 in Frontpage Forensics
It is easy for violent acts to become sensationalized in the age of social media and live streaming. It's important to recognize the negative impact of tantalizing news stories to our brains and use our technological tools to enhance community support.

Murder and the Digital Self

By Ian H. Robertson Ph.D. on August 28, 2015 in The Winner Effect
Social media have changed us into directors of scripts of our own lives. This creates a detachment and possibly a change in "self", making us spectators and would-be journalists who act out our scripted fantasies, which in some tragic cases such as the Virginia live TV shootings, include murder.

Attracting Millennial Job Applicants using Social Media

By Eddy Ng Ph.D. on August 27, 2015 in Diverse and Competitive
How to Increase Applicant Reach and Reduce Recruiting Costs

Virginia Shooting: When Tragedy Hits Social Media

Posting events on social media is normal. It is how we communicate. Senseless acts of violence, like the Smith Mountain Virginia shooting, are meant to be public. Social media becomes a vehicle for both the defiant statements of someone who feels powerless and the expression of empathy and sorrow for the senseless loss of life.

Geek Heresy: Bursting the Hi-Tech Hype Bubble

By Ravi Chandra M.D. on August 24, 2015 in The Pacific Heart
Kentaro Toyama takes aim at geek myths and cybersolutionism in his new book Geek Heresy. Social media gets a close look as well. Toyama draws important conclusions from his work in India, Africa and the U.S. on what really makes a difference in personal and societal development. Hint: it’s not your smartphone.

"Like" Me: Why Girls Need More Breaks from Social Media

As a parent you are probably thinking that this constant pressure to be “Liked” sounds like an exhausting way to live. Who can relax when everything you say and do is analyzed, photographed, posted for an audience, and evaluated? To feel you have to be on at all times,and if you go for too long without checking your phone or computer, life might leave you behind?

This Can Give You the Advantage in Online Dating

By Martin Graff Ph.D. on August 19, 2015 in Love, Digitally
Artistic and creative pursuits predict mating success Art, music or humour, are the modern day human equivalent to the peacock’s tail

Inside the Mind of the Twitter Troll

The latest scientific study on internet trolls finds them to suffer from a unique constellation of manipulativeness (cunning, scheming, unscrupulous), sadism (pleasure from inflicting pain on others) and psychopathy (lacking empathy and remorse), which may only be properly illuminated by psychological testing.

Want to Be a Happier New Mom? Try “Hygge”

By Sharon Praissman on August 17, 2015 in Beyond the Egg Timer
Guest blogger Jessica Joelle Alexander explains how the Danish concept of Hygge helps women transition to motherhood.

Make Envy Your Friend—and Keep Your Friends

By Temma Ehrenfeld on August 17, 2015 in Open Gently
Envy is normal but dangerous if it combines with anger.

Can What You Post Online Reveal Your Personality?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on August 17, 2015 in Media Spotlight
Can open-language assessment on social media posts be used to study personality? A new research study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests that it can. Computerized analysis of the language used were consistent over time and correlated well with how participants responded on personality tests. And that may be just the beginning.

Does the Impulse to Gossip Have a Silver Lining for Markets?

The urge to let others know when you've been taken advantage of, and instinctively knowing that almost all of us have it, may play a big role in helping markets to function well--most recently including ones relying on online reviews such as eBay, airbnb, and trip advisor. I describe a novel laboratory experiment that demonstrates the tendency to tell in its purest form.

Can Twitter Predict Who Will Develop Postpartum Depression?

Research shows that artificial intelligence can monitor a woman's Twitter feed during pregnancy and predict with 80% accuracy whether she will go on to develop postpartum depression.

Logging on for Love

By Wendy Paris on August 11, 2015 in Splitopia
The Internet has fundamentally altered how we date but some things never change, such as the need to assess chemistry in person.

Does the Couple That Facebooks Together Stay Together?

By Catalina Toma Ph.D. on August 10, 2015 in Virtual You
Are the dating couples that constantly post about their relationship on Facebook more or less likely to break up?

The Amygdala Is NOT the Brain's Fear Center

The amygdala is not a "fear" center out of which effuses the feeling of being afraid. "Fear" is a cognitively assembled conscious experience that is based on threat detection, arousal, attention, perception, memory, and other neural processes.

How Social Media May Be Making You a Nicer Person

You might worry that the use of social media is causing us to lose the ability to communicate in person, much less be able to relate to others in a positive way. New research shows how, and when the contrary may be true.

Study Decodes the 5 Types of Facebook Status Updates

Want to know your personality type? A new study says your Facebook page says it all.

What is the Real Link between Selfies and Narcissism?

By Gwendolyn Seidman Ph.D. on August 06, 2015 in Close Encounters
New research shows that selfies are linked to narcissism in men, but not women, and that some aspects of narcissism are better predictors of selfie-posting than others.

The Loneliness of Social Media, Part Three

Loneliness is neither inevitable nor inescapable. If you are willing to take a number of simple and practical actions you can overcome loneliness and create a meaningful and satisfying social life for yourself both in daily life and on social media.

Making Social Media Work For You

By Thelma Duffey Ph.D. on August 03, 2015 in Works in Progress
Following a loss, social media can be a constant reminder of what other people seem to have in their lives. Take a few steps to proactively make social media work better for you.

The Surprising Way Social Media Boosts Romantic Commitment

According to research, making things "Facebook Official" with your boyfriend, girlfriend, or lover could help create a lasting love. Find out how to post, share, update, and like your way to long-term relationship happiness.

The Trouble With Facebook

We need Facebook etiquette rules.

13 Steps to Better Relationships...And Peace of Mind

By Meg Selig on July 28, 2015 in Changepower
You can use mindfulness techniques to create a more peaceful mind. But good social relationships may be just as important.

How Are You Portraying Yourself When Using Social Media?

By Gregg McBride on July 25, 2015 in The Weight-ing Game
When did vitriol become a national pastime and filling our social media feeds with hatred become de rigeur? Has initially greeting someone we don't understand (or even that we don't agree with) with kindness become a thing of the past?

The Loneliness of Social Media, Part Two

Social media is not always very social. Understanding why not can help us understand what is lacking in our lives.

The 21st-Century Way to Punish Kids

By Elias Aboujaoude M.D. on July 24, 2015 in Compulsive Acts
A new parent-child reward-punishment dynamic centered on technology.