You can learn a lot about someone based on their posts, tweets, updates and other social networking tools. There is the obsessive narrator, “OMG I just had a bagel and boysenberry cream cheese for breakfast,” “I’m in line at the grocery store and I have to pee soooo bad,” “Vacuuming!” Then there are the my-life-is-so-much-cooler-than-it-was-in-high-school-so-now-I-have-to-brag-and-make-it-sound-even-more-amazing-than-it-probably-really-is, “I just went skydiving and now I’m going to a [insert whoever is cool right now] concert!” or “I just met [insert random celebrity] at the airport, OMG!” There are the Debbie-downers, “Ugh, could god punish me any more than he is? I mean seriously, can anything possibly go worse because it’s clearly never going to get better at this point. FML” There are the I’m –so-witty-I’m-going-to-post-clever-comments-that-only-a-handful-of-people-as-clever-as-me-will-understand posters, “Purple penguins tap dance while earth worms snooze in the tantric tundra trampoline park.” And then there are the rest of us who probably do a mix of all of the above.
Why is it so appealing to post random facts or experiences to an online community of hundreds of people you may or may not know? According to a new study conducted by Harvard researchers Diana Tamir and Jason Mitchell, because it feels good.