Up in Smoke: Is Facebook Better Than Sex?

By Vanessa Butler

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Are you a bit more thrilled than you think you should be every time that hot brunette from the office “pokes” you on Facebook? Not to say that she’s poking every guy in the office, but you’re not alone in this overly amorous feeling. One Harvard study has found that when you post your personal views on popular social media sites like Facebook, your actions send a signal to the brain which causes similar feelings to those you get when you eat good food or have good sex.

While Facebook wasn’t specifically mentioned in the study, the research focused on "opportunities to communicate their thoughts and feelings to others" online. And with over 157,348,340 users in the United States alone, it’s clearly one of the places we’re getting most of our pleasure from.

"Just as monkeys are willing to forgo juice rewards to view dominant groupmates and college students are willing to give up money to view attractive members of the opposite sex, our participants were willing to forgo money to think and talk about themselves," wrote researchers.

The most surprising part of all this is how this theory was arrived at. Researchers awarded participants a small amount of cash for answering questions about how they observe particular situations and a lower reward for those who wanted to talk about their own views on a subject. In most cases, participants chose the smaller reward despite the fact that they knew a larger reward would be given if they spoke about factual information.


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