Hiring a social media manager or a salesperson? Maybe you should have the finalists’ brains scanned in an fMRI.
A larger orbital prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain associated with decision-making and cognitive processing, has been shown to correlate with greater social skills, according to a study by a team of UK researchers. Among the scientists was Robin Dunbar, who pioneered the idea that the average human is limited to a social circle of about 150 people (see Your Brain’s Twitter Limit: 150 Real Friends), a constant now known as the Dunbar number.
Keeping up with the Joneses just got harder, with Facebook finally flipping the switch on its new Timeline Apps that make it easier to share every fleeting moment of your fabulous life with each and every one of your friends. The gossip and invidious comparison that goes on between Facebook friends each day is about to intensify, thanks to 60 new Facebook Timeline apps that give 800 million people around the world an easier way to share their Facebook status with others.
Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal posted excerpts from a debate between me, Stewart Baker, Jeff Jarvis, and Chris Soghoian on privacy. In preparation for the piece, they had us respond to a series of questions. Jeff posted the full text of his responses here. Now it’s my turn. Here are the questions that I was asked and my responses.
We all know that teen bullying – both online and offline – has devastating consequences. Jamey Rodemeyer’s suicide is a tragedy. He was tormented for being gay. He knew he was being bullied and he regularly talked about the fact that he was being bullied.
These days, you can’t go online without bumping into someone styling himself as a social media guru, a Facebook expert, or a power user of Twitter. And, if you check their online profiles, they actually do have thousands of friends and followers. But are these real friends, or did the supposed expert socializers simply crank up an automation software to rapidly build their follower base? Surprisingly, how capable of being social a person is can be revealed by a brain scan.
A new study has found that individuals with larger amygdalas (an area of the brain usually associated with fear and other emotions) have more friends and more complex social networks.
Twitter and MySpace each announced programs last week intended to make money by giving advertisers access to their users. The approaches couldn't be more different, and I think they raise more questions about the nature and hopes for monetizing social behavior than they answer.
This post was originally written for the DML Central Blog. If you're interested in Digital Media and Learning, you definitely want to check this blog out.
As adults, we take social skills for granted... until we encounter someone who lacks them. Helping children develop social skills is viewed as a reasonable educational endeavor in elementary school, but by high school, educators switch to more "serious" subjects.
This ideas in this post are based on conversations with Bernie Hogan and should be interpreted as the production of our co-thinking.
All too frequently, someone makes a comment about how a large number of Facebook Friends must mean a high degree of social capital. Or how we can determine who is closest to who by measuring their email messages. Or that the Dunbar number can explain the average number of Facebook friends.