Do you ever wonder why we love social media so much?
There is no doubt that Facebook has attracted the largest membership base in the history of the internet. But why is this?
I mean, are we really that interested in keeping up with friends and family? I doubt it. This is more of an annoyance than anything else.
Most of the people I know try to avoid their family members as much as possible. If it weren’t for holidays, they would never even see one another.
Is it the constant flooding of fraud and spam we love? The irritating game invites? The relationship statuses of the same people that change every day? The constant whining and complaining? Maybe the constant updates and changes that are forced upon us?
When you think about it, there is more to detest about Facebook than there is to like.
So why do hundreds of millions of people go back every day, login, and spend hours watching their news feed as it rolls down their screen?
Well, you might be surprised to learn that it’s a chemical thing really and has it’s root in science.
You see, it’s been shown that reading funny status updates, getting “likes,” and seeing that little red notification alert on our page causes the body to release a chemical called “oxytocin” into the bloodstream.
Oxytocin is also called the “love hormone” because it is involved with giving us those fuzzy feelings we get when we are in the beginning stages of a new relationship, or more importantly, having an orgasm.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never consciously been THAT excited to see my cousin “likes” that I’m happy it’s Friday or that I’m listening to a long forgotten 80s song on Spotify.
On a deeper level, though, there is much more going on than meets the eye.
We can get addicted to this chemical, which causes us to keep going back again and again in order to get that fix.
That’s why some people keep checking their phones for texts (which also release oxytocin) and Facebook notifications every five minutes.
They’re feeding their addiction.
So there you have it. I’m not saying this addiction is a bad thing. I love Facebook as much as anyone. But there is a biological reason we can’t seem to leave it alone.
Now who wants to share their love hormones with me?