I watched a short video on why we spend time on Facebook. Here’s the link if you’re interested http://www.upworthy.com/the-real-reason-you-spend-so-much-time-on-facebook?g=2&c=ufb1.
I feel they mishandled the temporal discounting. I’m one of the folk who says 10% interest for waiting a month to get my $100 is a no-brainer, so when they offer the same deal for waiting a year it makes me cross, not compliant.
But aside from that, Facebook and Twitter and all those little dopamine bursts we get from manipulation and affecting our environment in these tiny keyboarding ways reminds me of something else. I find myself thinking we’re wired for these little ‘social’ gestures, even if on the internet it’s all virtual. Isn’t Facebooking an analog for mutual grooming? Twitter too?
For those of us who’ve worked in any type of office or as waiters or clerks in grocery stores (I can check those boxes!) remember the stuff you do every day? “How was your weekend Joe?” “Kids still crazy about Totoro?” “Did you get your car fixed, Kat?” I’ve always thought chit-chat was a monkey behavior– “Oho here’s a salt crystal in your undercoat!” “Hey, did you know you had fleas–tasty!””A tangle in your fur, let me sort it.”
It’s all mutual grooming, the low-level activity that keeps a troop associated. Not in lock-step, but reminded of who the others are and which ones will snap incisors in your face if you try to trim out that snag.