Why Your Social Media Feeds Are Full Of Political Opinions

The Question: What compels people to share political opinions on social media?

It’s nearly impossible to scroll through your Facebook feed without seeing something political – especially now.

We’re not referring to a link to John Oliver’s latest riff on Donald Trump’s terribleness or even a Huffington Post piece on Obama in Cuba. We’re talking about the spontaneous political prattle your “friends” (and, let’s face it, probably you) are posting.

On Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and other various social media platforms, individuals from all over the world use their feeds as a means of broadcasting their thoughts on politics.

We’ve broken down the different political social media users into three types:

The Endorphin Junkie

Turns out, there’s a neurological reward for speaking up. When we share our personal thoughts and feelings on a social media page, it activates the brain’s reward system by assuaging the anxiety of keeping something in and validating yourself, one Harvard study found.

“Expressing beliefs that are important to you functions as a self-affirmation,” psychology professor Joshua Hart of the University of California, Davis, told The Huffington Post. “It reminds you of the values that are central to your identity–and this gives you a psychological boost.”

In other words, your brain compels you to declare #ImWithHer because it triggers a flood of happiness hormones in the brain. And the more original you get, the more you’re rewarded: That same Harvard study found that sharing a unique thought of your own elicited a bigger boost than simply repeating the attitudes and opinions of others.

The Iconoclast

The virtual reward system is reinforced by another study that indicates that some posters on Facebook and Twitter are “less likely to share their opinions in face-to-face settings.” This is familiar because it’s essentially the <a target="_blank" —> Read More