Social Media Use May Boost Oxytocin Levels

Posted: April 26th, 2011 | Author: skwilcox | Filed under: Empathy, News, Social Media | No Comments »

Yet another study on the behaviors that affect oxytocin levels in the human body has come out, this time involving social media such as Facebook and Twitter. The short version is that volunteers had their blood drawn before logging in to their social media account and again afterward. Apparently the amount of the "love hormone" in the test subjects' blood increased following their FB or Twitter sessions.

This is an interesting study, but one that clearly requires more follow-up. I'm going to get my hands on a copy of the study itself to see if some of my questions are answered in it, but I wonder just what types of interactions the test subjects had on FB and Twitter. In other words, most times I'm pretty upbeat when I'm talking to friends on FB, but every once in a while someone turns a little, shall we say, ugly, and I can actually feel my anger rising while I'm staring at that calming blue-bordered screen (sad, I know). I can't imagine I'm getting an oxytocin boost during those times. Anyway, that's just one of the random thoughts going through my head upon hearing about the study.

If you've got a couple of minutes, I found an interview with the study author and have re-posted it here for your viewing pleasure.