Why Facebook?

Social networking websites are some of the most heavily used on the Internet. Facebook alone has some half billion users. Why are they so popular?

There are practical reasons for some users: business contacts and shared information come easily this way. But the most important reason these sites have grown so rapidly is emotional. They make us feel good.

Connection is what social networking is all about, and connection is the heart of the Emotional System. It’s the feeling of a bond, being in harmony with someone, emotional closeness. When someone “friends” us, it’s because they like us and want us to like them. Being Facebook friends makes us feel more connected.  It might be the most casual and transitory kind of liking, and it might have an ulterior motive. But it still feels good.

Humans are hard-wired to have feelings around connection, most obviously with people but also with things, places, activities, and ideals. Sometimes these experiences are closer to love, sometimes more like happiness. A feeling of connection is the core emotional experience within the Emotional System. The creators of social networking sites might have stumbled onto it, but what they found is a universal theme that is meaningful and will continue to be meaningful regardless of the form it takes.

You can “friend” The Seventh System on Facebook. Leave a comment on the wall. Let’s connect via a social conversation we can both feel good about.

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