Business Technology

Thursday 29 September 2016

Here's why you like sharing things on Facebook so much

Published 26/04/2016 | 10:00

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks on stage during the Facebook F8 conference in San Francisco. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks on stage during the Facebook F8 conference in San Francisco. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

From a business perspective it seems as if Facebook has gotten everything right along the way up. From dropping the "The" in 2005 to spinning off Messenger into a separate app it's as if Mark Zuckerberg can do no wrong.

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While many of these decisions have been his own doing what he may not have realised is that Facebook's success is heavily reliant on the way a human is wired.

That's right, sharing information is in our DNA and apparently we enjoy it very much.

According to a new report from the Free University of Berlin and the Max Planck Institute, a network of brain regions involved in posting and sharing on Facebook has been established.

“Human beings like to share information about themselves. In today’s world, one way we’re able to share self-related information is by using social media platforms like Facebook,” said the report's lead author Dr Dar Meshi.

Dr Meshi's report monitored 35 participants and focused on the medial prefrontal cortex and the precuneus, two areas of the brain that become active when thinking about oneself.

Participants completed a self-related sharing scale to outline how often they post information about themselves. This was then compared against brain readings when subjects' minds were allowed to wander.

The research found that those who shared more about themselves on Facebook had a greater degree of connectivity with the areas of the brain listed above.

“Our study reveals a network of brain regions involved in the sharing of self-related information on social media,” says Meshi.

“These findings extend our present knowledge of functional brain connectivity, specifically linking brain regions previously established to function in self-referential cognition to regions indicated in the cognitive process of self-disclosure.”

Scientists believe the medial prefrontal cortex plays a vital role in the makeup of peoples' personality, which in turn coalesces with Dr Meshi's research.

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