Monday, July 8, 2019

The Influential Mind: The Amygdala of The Internet

When reading the book The Influential Mind by Tali Sharot, I found it very interesting how the author touched upon the topic of social media and how it impacts people's emotions. Last year in my Arguments and Persuasion class I chose the topic of negative impacts that social media has on today's society, which lead me to find very convincing evidence as to how social media has the potential to give people anxiety when using social media apps. During this segment of the book, the author enhanced my argument by describing the many ways people have proved the direct relation between how social media heavily impacts people's emotions. A group of researchers used twitter for an experiment to observe people's feeds and related each tweet to being either positive or negative.   These researchers found that when a person posted an uplifting tweet, their feed just prior included around 4% more positive tweets than negative tweets. Then when someone posts a negative tweet, their feed just prior to them posting their tweet contained 4% more negative than positive posts. Another piece of evidence they found was that tweeting is a very emotionally arousing activity due to the fact that studies show that tweeting raises your pulse, makes you sweat and enlarges your pupils. Studies have also shown that tweeting and retweeting enhances brain activity that indicates emotional arousal by 75%. This study just shows how social media can impact your mood and what you post can also impact other peoples moods and behaviors. With that being said, it is best to remember your audience and try to stay as positive and uplifting as possible when posting online!

"It is important, then, to be mindful that we are altering people's emotions simply by experiencing feelings ourselves. Similarly, other peoples emotions change our own state - we are constantly synchronizing with each other and everyone around us" - Tali Sharot


  1. Hi Sara,

    Your post is very in-depth and educational for those that are not aware of the impact that social media has on our emotions, myself included. I really enjoyed how you connected what you learned back to a previous experience in a separate class. Good job!

  2. I found your post very interesting! I am also reading this book, but have not made it to this discussion yet, but I am excited to get there. This is so true about social media; I have noticed the changes within myself when viewing social media platforms. I believe that seeing pictures online of people living these extravagant lives and beautiful women- it really brings your self-esteem down. I find myself constantly comparing my lives to these people that I don't even know and I think that it is very unhealthy. This makes me worry for future generations because it is only going to get worse. The twitter study was very interesting!