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Why We Like, Share, Comment on Facebook

Facebook taps the brain’s pleasure center. Based on research: Studies show physiological reactions like pupil dilation as an indication of happiness when people are browsing their Facebook.

Why we “LIKE”?
According to Facebook, “Like” is a way to give positive feedback or to connect with things you care about.

Research: On average, 44% of Facebook users “Like” content posted by their friends at least once a day, with 29% doing so several times per day.

Reason 1: It’s a quick and easy nod
Research: Confirmed by Elan Morgan from a 2-week experiment documented on Medium.

Reason 2: To affirm something about ourselves
Research: In a study of more than 58,000 people, based on someone’s likes, you can figure out whether that person is:
– White or African American with 95% accuracy.
– Gay or straight with 88% accuracy.
– Democrat or Republican with 85% accuracy.
– Male or female with 93% accuracy.
– Age with 75% accuracy.

Reason 3: To express virtual empathy
Research: Studies show that spending more time using social networks and engaging in instant message chats predicted more ability to be virtually empathic.

Reason 4: Because it’s practical / we’ll get something in return
Research: A Syncapse study found that most people seem to make these decision based on practical based on practical reasons [such as coupons and updates from favorite brands].
– 49% Support the brand they like.
– 42% Get a coupon or discount.
– 41% Receive regular updates from brands they like.
– 35% Participate in contests.
– 31% Share personal good experiences.
– 27% Share interests / lifestyle with others.
– 21% Research brands when looking for specific products / services.
– 20% See friends that have already “liked” or are a “fan”.
– 18% A brand advertisement [TV, online, magazine].
– 15% Recommended to fan the brand.

Why we “COMMENT”?
We have something to say and it’s more satisfying to comment or receive comments compared to likes.
Research: Molra Burke, who is studying 1,200 Facebook users in an ongoing experiment, has found that personal messages are more satisfying to receivers than the one-click communication of likes.

Why we “POST” status updates?
This is how often people update their status on Facebook.
– 10% of Facebook users change or update their own status on Facebook on a daily basic.
– 4% update their status several times per day.
– 25% of Facebook users say that they never change or update their own Facebook status.

Reason 1: Posting relieves loneliness.
Research: The study found that when students updated their Facebook statues more often, they reported lower levels of loneliness.

What stops us from posting?
We stop posting because of self-censorship.
Research: Researchers at Facebook conducted a study on self-censorship [that is, the posts you write and never actually publish].

Over 17 days, they tracked the activity of 3.9 million users.
– 71% of users type out at least 1 status or comment and decided not to submit.
– On average, users changes their mind about 4.52 statuses and 3.2 comments.

Why we “SHARE”?
Another worldwide poll by Ipsos offers some similar findings, noting that around the globe, people primarily:
– 61% Share interesting things.
– 43% Share important things.
– 43% Share funny things.
– 37% Let others know what they believe in and who they really are.
– 30% Recommend a product, service, movie, book, etc.
– 29% Add their support to a cause, an organization or a belief.
– 26% Share unique things.
– 22% Let others know what they’re doing.
– 20% Add to a thread or conversation.
– 10% Show they’re in the know.

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