Some studies suggest the neurochemistry that keeps us checking Facebook every five minutes is similar to the neurochemistry fueling addiction.
In addition to its affect on advertising and consumption, social media has made an indelible mark on human behavior. Caterina Fake, co-founder of Hunch and Flickr, highlights a behavioral phenomenon called FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and how social media both causes and soothes the addiction-like desire to constantly participate:
Social media has made us even more aware of the things we are missing out on. You’re home alone, but watching your friends status updates tell of a great party happening somewhere. You are aware of more parties than ever before. And, like gym memberships, adding Bergman movies to your Netflix queue and piling up unread copies of the New Yorker, watching these feeds gives you a sense that you’re participating, not missing out, even when you are.
[via Swiss Miss]