Social Media and Human Behaviour

Social media has had the ability to personally influence your fellow peers since the beginning of its implementation. When you see a friend say or do something that you either agree or disagree with, often times you will have a response. Whether it’s about somebody trying to get you to listen to a certain song, see a certain movie, or even become an organ donor. When social media experts convened at Harvard, they came to the conclusion that if one was to share something they did, people would follow suite. As mentioned in the article pertaining to organ donors, experts say that friends sharing their “sign-up” to organ donation has sparked  a mass amount of new donors; 500 000 to be exact. According to Facebook’s director of corporate communications Sarah Feinberg, registering to be an organ donor, and sharing it on Facebook creates a peer-to-peer influence. Whether it is subconscious or conscious, when you see something from your friends you think about the subject.

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Through some of my own personal experiences, I’ve both been influenced and influenced people towards something. Movie suggestions are a big thing for me, if someone suggests to see something that I may not really want to, I give the film a second chance. I remember suggesting people should go see the film ‘Arrival’ because of its important message, and a few of my Facebook friends read it and were persuaded, so I guess there’s that.

However, human behaviour isn’t only changed through suggestive influences, but through “popularity contests” as well. Most social media users long for their peers approvals. According to a study focusing on teenage reactions to ‘Likes’, brain activity was higher across the board in “social” areas when shown their own pictures with “tons” of ‘Likes’. Furthermore, the teenagers in the study were prone to liking a picture themselves when the photo featured many ‘Likes’. Suggesting that their behaviours were influenced by the number of ‘Likes’ a photo had when it came across them, rather than simply whether they themselves liked the pictures. The study touches upon many other aspects of psychological behaviour towards social media, read more here: http://tinyurl.com/hxu9ad8.

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Social media is just a further purporter of popularity, and schoolyard human behaviour carries over into the online world.

  • Sushami Pomerleau-Piquette

 

Harvard Social Media Experts Article: http://today.law.harvard.edu/experts-explore-how-social-networks-can-influence-behavior-and-decision-making-video/

Teenage Psychological Human Behaviour Towards Social Media Article: https://www.psychologicalscience.org/news/releases/social-media-likes-impact-teens-brains-and-behavior.html#.WIjx6qO-KuU

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3 thoughts on “Social Media and Human Behaviour

  1. It’s very interesting the way our decisions on social media may not be entirely own, how we’re a generation of “social media sheep”. Well done!

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  2. This topic raised some very interesting and well observed points about social media, and our obsession and fixation with it in the modern world. The part that resonated with me is the measurement of self worth and popularity in relation to the amount of likes, shares and followers you receive on a post. I am a guilty culprit of this and base whether I like the photo I share online, to whether my friends do. This is a huge concern because instead of caring about what I value, and want to share I look to share what my friends and society want to see. This search for acceptance is something many individuals caught in the virtual world struggle with.

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    1. I think we are all guilty culprits of social media and its rewarding nature. Everybody feels good when someone likes our social media posts, even if we don’t expect it. Like reddit and its up-vote system, people feel important when they receive imaginary internet points for their content. And I agree, it is an issue because we put on a facade in order to appeal to our online friends, mostly because it seems to be the only way to get likes. Honesty and humbleness don’t go well on social media when people are more interested in the dramatics and entertainment aspects of the online world.

      Liked by 1 person

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