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The Psychology of Social Media

Have you ever wondered about the psychology that goes into conceiving a popular social media platform? To begin, we wonder how it actually works.
What is Social Media?
First, let’s start by really asking ourselves what we know about social media. Below is a brief transcript of me fielding my husband.
RG: “What is social media?”
FG: “Where humans share their thoughts and dreams…and…it reflects society. It’s one medium in which humans socialize and interact.”
RG: “How do you think it works?”
FG: “People do what people do and they keep track of everything. People bully, people post nasty sh*t that they  do, they post the good things that they do; it’s just written down on a piece of paper that no one can erase. “
According to the function with which we use it, social media is the use of internet technology as a medium to connect and exchange information. Other mediums include the television and radio. With this very basic definition, we can drill deeper to the psychology of social media.
How Does Social Media Work?
It does not require a degree in science technology to figure out how social media works. You must start at the very basic definition and work from what you know. What we do know is that all things including humans, ecosystems, and business need certain things to thrive and grow. Humans need food and water to live and a community to thrive.  Business needs customers and to provide something of value. A social media platform is a business therefore it needs customers and to provide something of value.
Pause here for a moment to put on your scientist cap and ponder the following questions:
  • What is the value that a social media platform provides?
  • What need is social media meeting?
  • Who benefits most from a social media platform?
  • What is the relationship between the social media platform owner and the user?
  • Who profits from the success of social media?
  • Who are the biggest profiteers?
  • how and who determines setting the prices for joining social media? (NOTE: almost all of the popular social media sites are free to join)
  • How is the business (social media) being sustained?
  • What is being exchanged?
  • Where is the money trail with social media?
Be curious. Ask questions. There is no special order to ask them in but do ask and do poke around and investigate the subject of social media. You do not have to be a reporter or even have hi-speed internet or a computer. Carry a thin journal with you and pen. Take a few days to really think about the questions above. Write at least (3) three of the questions on a small slip of paper and keep it in your walled or purse. Whenever you get the urge to check your social media notifications, read your questions first. After a few days of pondering these questions, the answer will reveal itself like invisible ink. You will know that you have known all that you need to know about the psychology of social media.
The answers you receive will vary individually but the core truth will be the same. The answers may come on a bit strong so it is important that you continue to write your answers and feelings into your journal. If you find the answers to be a bit too much for you in the beginning, this is normal. Do not become alarmed if you feel overwhelmed or confused by this information. This is also normal so continue to record your scientific findings in your journal.  Good luck.
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