Engagement with social media such as Twitter and Facebook will make you a happier person. This isn’t just a random statement but a scientifically proven fact. Paul Zak has done several different studies looking at what produces a feeling of trust and overall happiness and has found that Oxytocin is one of the chemicals responsible. He has also found that you can produce Oxytocin without a drug. The results of his research points to the inherent value of connections.
Relationships Produce Happiness
We are inherently social creatures which makes isolation a strong form of punishment. As humans, we are chemically wired to interact, and those interactive relationships produce a chemical called Oxytocin. At the core, these connections with other people produce happiness. These connections can be of any type including electronically via social media such as Twitter, Facebook, email, and more.
Social Media Helps Make You Happy
“There are so many ways we can connect to people. For example through social media…We investigated the role of social media and found that using social media produced solid double digit increases in Oxytocin.”
Connecting with other people via Facebook and Twitter helps your body produce Oxytocin leading to increased happiness. There is a difference between pushing content via social media and taking the time to connect. Think of the connection made recently when Charles Sipe read on Twitter that Ian Lurie didn’t have any diet soda and Charles brought him some. Charles not only made many new connections but the action produced a flurry of online activity. If Charles had just read the tweet and nothing more or just retweeted it with a small comment, there wouldn’t have been the same level of engagement. Instead Charles got creative and interacted directly. Although no one was there to measure his Oxytocin level, it was probably high with the flurry of online activity. The key with any online engagement is think of ways you can make a real connection rather than just a random comment. The result is going to help you produce Oxytocin while also helping another person.
An Easy Way to Produce Oxytocin
Paul Zak ends his Ted talk with an easy way to produce Oxytocin without injecting a chemical: hugs. In fact, he proscribes eight hugs a day to increase Oxytocin and create more happiness. He points out that you could inject Oxytocin into your nose for the same benefit; however, hugs or connections are more enjoyable and produce ongoing benefits than just the Oxytocin.