The Psychology of Social Networking (infographic)

Neal Postman warned that we were Amusing Ourselves to Death. Maybe today the fear is that we publicize ourselves to death. That’s the concern represented on this infographic.

social networking

Just consider some of these statistics:

  • 9 out of 10 internet users are on a social network
  • Every minute we produce 694,980 status updates
  • 80% of social media posts are about the poster

But the best stat of all: “9 out of 10 Americans think people share too much.” Stop and think about that for a minute. 9 out of 10 of us are doing it. And we’re doing it a lot. But we think everyone else should be doing it less. That makes sense.

And why do we do it? To serve the greater good, advance public discourse, or develop larger networks of meaningful relationships? The infographic suggests a different reason: “Talking about ourselves activates the regions of the brain associated with the sense of satisfaction from food, money, or sex.”


Here’s the infographic. Check it out for yourself.




  1. says

    Very poignant, excellent! Well done! Humorously, I just started FB, but I hope to keep it about biblical/theological discourse and less about me, though I think there are some advantages to the inclusion of personal information, it keeps it human. Thoughts?

    His grace to you,


    • says

      Hey, welcome to the world of FB! And I agree that you really do need to mix in some personal stuff on FB if you’re going to use it well. FB really is the kind of place where people expect to see your personality come through. And I think you can do that without being a constant self-promoter, though it’s a fine line.

      • says

        Thanks, Marc, I appreciate and value your insights. I agree, it’s a fine line. From what little I have seen thus far, many seem to be using FB (and other applications) for self-authentication. I could be critical about this, but I think I would just say that it “appears” that a lot of people are lonely and they’re searching for relationships that they have a hard time finding outside of the world of technology. The irony is that technologically enables us to reach people around the world – we’re more connected than ever before, but in the end, face-to-face relationships decline and loneliness entails. Well, before I get all preachy, I’ll leave it at that. Thanks again for your insights. I know you’re a busy man, but if you ever have the time, would love to see you jump into the dialogue on my FB. It looks like the first discussion is going to be about the new atheism. It’s sad how atheism seems to be building steam, and it’s a meaner and bombastic atheism that enjoys feeding upon Christianity.

  2. J.C. Schutte says

    All this facts looks very impressive by first glance…but how does the surveyor(s) do their research on this. How is it possible to get all these facts when a few hundred million internet users are using the social network randomly during each day of the week and month?? I put a BIG ? after every statistic and i cannot agree with all your remarks such as that all conversations at social networks is just about food, money or sex. In my account it is really not the case with me or any of my friends on my lists. I think Mr. Marc Cortex have to do his homework again, tell us how he really get his statistics and look again at his negative and sinical accusations, coz just maybe he include himself in this….

    • says

      Um, I think you need to take another look at the graphic. First, it’s not mine. The bottom of the graphic clearly states who created it. And I’m sure you can go over there to learn more about their methodology. Second, the stat doesn’t say that people only talk about food, money and sex. It says that posting about yourself actuates the same parts of the brain as food, money and sex.

      • J.C. Schutte says

        “Um, I think you need to take another look at the graphic. First, it’s not mine. The bottom of the graphic clearly states who created it.”—> o.k. apologies my misty brain didnt pick that up.
        “It says that posting about yourself actuates the same parts of the brain as food, money and sex.” —> even so, it is a far fetched accusation which isn’t scientificly a proven fact but i regard that as another stone in the chicken den….


  1. […] Are We All Braggarts Now? Boasting isn’t just a problem on the Internet. In a society of unrelenting competition—where reality-show contestants duke it out for the approval of aging celebrities and pastors have publicists—is it any wonder we market ourselves relentlessly? (This one goes well with yesterday’s infographic on The Psychology of Social Networking.) […]

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