I came across a research study from Harvard the other day that says 40 percent of our daily speech is centered on telling others what we think and feel. For those of you on TV, this is part of what you do for a living! But even if you’re not a TV host and you hang out on Facebook or Twitter, you know that people love to brag about themselves. This made we wonder, why is it that we all want people to know what we’re doing and what we’ve accomplished?
The simple answer is that it feels good, but there’s a much deeper explanation than that.
In the experiments conducted by the Harvard team, they compared the feeling we get from eating food; getting money or having sex, with the feeling we get from disclosing information about ourselves. The study found that the feeling we get from all of the above is strikingly similar; they all give the same feel-good feeling.
This explains why we tweet, post and update about ourselves. When we do, the act itself activates a particular system of the brain called the mesolimbic dopaminergic (Yeah I can’t pronounce it either). This system is also associated with the same rewarding feeling as getting money or sex.
For some years now I have been associated with the heath and fitness world and I can tell you no one is more adamant about updating the world about his or her physical accomplishments. Deep down their reasoning is no different from anyone else’s; they want the world to see how hard they’ve been working and the results that can happen when you do the same. But they get a bad rap as being vain and a little too revealing by some.
The truth is their desire on a fundamental level is no different than a salesperson wanting to let the world know that he/she just closed a big deal. No different than a mom who wants to tell the world when her child speaks those first words. The real difference is in what you believe is acceptable and moral. If too much skin is offensive to you, then you simply have a difference of opinion than they do. It doesn’t make one person right or wrong, it just showcases the fabric of what our culture is all about; different people, different lifestyles and different beliefs all operating under the same human desire to let the world know that they are important.
So for all you social media hounds who are on Facebook and Twitter all day, now you know why. Being able, in just a few seconds to get your thoughts out to the world and get a response is human nature. It makes us feel important; it makes us feel needed and wanted.
I have people ask me all the time why I spend so much time writing this blog? I do it for several reasons but the main one is that it gives me a sense of contribution. If been very fortunate to have worked in a lot of different industries and have a very unique education that I believe can help many people out there, so I share it.
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