In this cartoon you see how people in the '50 would have reacted to the idea of sharing on Facebook en Twitter.. "so you are saying people will tweet what they are having for breakfast?!" I meet many people who are as surprised today (including myself at times! I'm not sharing so much personal information for instance.. ). 80% of the messages on social networks like Twitter are about our experiences, of course a twitter statement is still a reaction to the question: What are you doing? (source article Tamir en Mitchell).
Last week I did a workshop at the Dutch conference about education and social media where Michel Penterman emphasized that social media are a logical consequence in the evolution of the need to share information. This all started with the first drawings in the caves. Maslow's pyramid about our needs is famous. On the buying happiness weblog (via Alex den Haan) I found this picture matching social media to our basic needs according to Maslow. I wonder if there is not a new top on the pyramid necessary where we fullfil the need to express our experiences and emotion online..
They discoverd the following (read it if you want to understand the details of the study):
- If we disclose information about ourselves this triggers a greater reward than considering information about other people.
- People were prepared to forego a monetary reward for sharing information about themselves. More than information about general questions - this means that sharing information about yourself has a value.
- Talking about thoughts and emotions stimulates the reward system in your brains, even when it is done privately. However, when there is the opportunity to share it with others the reward is even higher. so sharing with people has a higher reward than sharing privately (eg. in a diary). This would explain neatly why I blog and don't do this in a private word document for instance..
Leaves me with the question whether the value of a learning trajectory is higher for the people who share more? Or they will simply feel better? And lurker may learn but may not feel as engaged (hence not rewarded by their brains??