Whether you’ve noticed it or not, Facebook has likely changed your brain. You get a rush of dopamine — that same chemical that kicks in when you’re rewarded — when you see a notification. People with more than 229 friends tend to have larger orbital prefrontal cortexes, the area for social behavior and emotion. An interesting infographic from Best Masters in Psychology details the social network’s effect on the brain.
Facebook has persuasive powers, but can the social network curtail bad behaviors such as smoking? That’s what researchers want to find out. A study in the most recent issue of Science magazine tries to figure out whether or not Facebook has the kind of power to help people change for the better.
Do you get a little down when you see a Facebook friend post about an engagement, a promotion, or significant achievement, feeling that your own life is a little boring by comparison? Or maybe you found you can’t sleep as well in this golden age of social media. You’re not alone. A U.K. study shows that always being plugged in could have negative effects on your mental health.