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The Psychology Of Social Media and Human Interaction
Can you wrap your head around the idea of ‘liking’ everything you see on social media?
The activities we perform on social media may seem inconsequential, but they matter. Our likes, comments, and posts tap into a few very elements that make us human, our addictions, desires, anxieties, and joys.
By understanding the psychology behind social media, we can utilize the process to bring the customers closer. This way we can understand their requirements better and maintain healthier relationships with them.
Let’s dig into the scientific side first!
Social Media Biology: Dopamine And Oxytocin
The pull of social media addiction is real. The credit goes to two chemicals our brains produce: dopamine and oxytocin.
Dopamine — This is the chemical that is responsible for creating the want. This hormone causes us to seek, desire, and search.
This hormone is stimulated by unpredictability and triggered by small bits of information. According to research, the pull of dopamine is so strong that studies have shown tweeting is harder for people to resist than cigarettes and alcohol.
Oxytocin — The Cuddle Chemical is released when you kiss or hug. Or … tweet. Using social media for 10 minutes can increase oxytocin levels as much as 13%, which is equivalent to hormone levels of some people on their wedding day.
The goodwill associated with oxytocin comes with social media too, like low-stress levels feelings of love, trust, empathy, and generosity.
Blame these two hormones, for having great feelings coming and also wanting more of it.
Social Media Actions: Why We Post, Share, Like and Comment
There are some major activities that we perform on social media sites—the psychological strings that are pulled with them, we will be figuring them out here!
Why We Post On Social Media
Humans are fascinated to talk about ourselves. Well, though that’s not the news. The news is that users devote about 80% of their social media posts related to themselves.
The main reason is that tête-à-tête is emotionally involved, where facial expressions and body language are read.
Doing this ‘conversation’ online gives us the leverage to refine and construct our words thoughtfully. This is known as self-presentation where you position yourself the way you want to be seen. This feeling comes with such strong wind that it increases your self-esteem.
One of the most prominent ways we tend to work on self- presentation is through things—buying things and acquiring things that signify who we are.
According to many studies, people associate an intense emotion for the brand that they love. The physiological arousal they experience with their loved brand is similar to that of a loved one.
Our choice of brands defines us and the company should come up with an inspiration for their brand that would be easily relatable to their customers. Brands that can create aspirational ways for their community to interact with them not only create social media opportunities but also the chance to move beyond likes into something lasting.
Why We Share On Social Media
Other than loving to talk about ourselves, passing information is an impulse that humans are hard-wired with. This practice activates the reward centers of our brains. Why? Let us find out the reasons.
Self-presentation, strengthening relationships
Foremost, it’s about self-image. People want to reflect on themselves in a better way by sharing stuff on social media.
However, a large chunk of these people explained that the reason they share on social media is so that they can stay connected to people.
Sharing the right type of content enables us to gain social currency. It means that people feel better about themselves when people react positively to what they post on social media.
How can this benefit brands? By having something interesting to say the brands can also gain their share of social currency.
Why we like on social media
Facebook is one of the prominent social media platforms where people love to ‘like’. Why? Because we love to sustain connections and relations.
When somebody likes or favorite’s your post, they are adding value and reinforcement to the relationship.
This also generates a reciprocity effect. An unsaid obliged feeling is set to give the person back what they gave to us, generally to even up the scales.
This is not only limited to Facebook; Instagram also shares the same pattern of reciprocity. Whenever you receive a tag or like, you feel that little pull to reciprocate the favor in some way.
Why We Comment
Several marketing managers prefer having conversations with customers. They prefer having engagements and interactions to build long-term advocacy with their customers.
Doing comments is supported by the phenomenon of Shared Reality. According to this, the whole experience of practice is affected by if and how we share it with others.
According to 85% of readers, reading the response of other people on social media on a topic helps us understand and process information and events in a better way.
This means practically, comments have the power to change our minds, and science backs this up.
So if you are a company, any comment about you, anywhere online, is to any consumer a reflection of what kind of company you are. It’s not exactly logical, but that’s how human brains work.
This means being actively engaged in the comments section of your blog and with the customer reviews of your product is crucial, not so much to the person you’re responding to but for everyone participating in the shared reality of comments and reviews.
Social Media Nostalgia
There are times when life itself and social media moves way too fast. By that time, we want to slow things down. This is where nostalgia comes in, and this longing for the past can be an amazing strategy for modern social media marketing.
Nostalgia is universal across all cultures and it gives us a sense of social connectedness, feelings of being loved, and protected. This feeling changes our perspectives on a lot of things including money.
Look around today, we are speeding up nostalgia. This will eventually create a bigger appetite for it.
For marketing, you need to follow a certain period that your target market is going to feel nostalgic about.
To serve the practice, you can utilize Facebook insights to drive out related information about a picked period and then weave nostalgic references through your writing or social media posts.
Understanding the Change in Self Concept from Using Social Media
Through social media, users get the chance to experience their personalities in a varied way. However, users also have this unprecedented opportunity to develop new personae from the curated material on their profiles. These new digital identities can sometimes align with, be a complement to, or conflict with users’ real personalities.
How Social Media Shapes Identity
Social media technology has given this power to users to control their identity formations.
From a social media psychology standpoint, this new ability to control one’s identity formation is as empowering as it is alarming. Users can build their identities on social media as honest representations of their personalities and traits, and at the same time, they can also create entirely new social media personae. This power has impressive advantages and severe consequences.
The Effects of Self-Perception on Social Media
The self-image of a social media user is compromised when they constantly compare their situations with others.
According to some quantitative results, social media can reduce loneliness and increase happiness and satisfaction with life, as a function of image-based social media use. This will generate greater confidence and a stronger self-perception on social media in image-oriented environments.
Contrary to that, can also motivate people who view themselves negatively to build entirely new identities. Sometimes social media creates that environment where users feel pressured to either lie or fabricate their physical and psychological identities to become more desirable.
Social Pressures to Fit into Social Media Groups
Among many benefits, social media groups are another major benefit any user can have. You can connect with groups of people with similar interests across the world. People can find more information about niche hobbies, popular pastimes, and general interests. This ability to belong to different groups is excellent for people coming from smaller or distant communities, and the psychological advantages for those individuals are immense.
Social media, thus, offers opportunities for people to form groups for both general and specific interests, which can help improve their overall productivity.
On the other hand, belonging to a group too closely or intimately can change the way the typical social media user thinks and behaves.
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