Friday, July 02, 2010

Twitter activates the “Cuddle” Hormone?

Does using social media give you that warm, snuggly feeling?

Dr Gupta of CNN reports that Twitter and Facebook can strengthen emotional bonds, as evidenced by the release of oxytocin in the brain. This hormone is closely linked with emotional bonds, often released during breastfeeding, birth and other experiences of pair bonding, hence its nickname the “cuddle” hormone.

A recent study at Claremont Graduate University in California tested the theory. The test subject, a journalist, had a blood sample taken. He then spent 10 minutes using Twitter, reading and sending tweets the entire time. A second blood sample was then taken. The result? The test subject’s oxytocin levels increased substantially, while stress hormones went down.

So, will online communications fulfill all our needs for social interaction? Probably not, but it’s good to know that we do get some positive benefits from our virtual interactions. As it turns out, connecting with people, through any means, is good for us.

So, to help you reap the rewards of online communication send me a @ronideutch/Twitter or Facebook message to tell me your favorite ways to use social media.

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