Does social media fill a biological niche?

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A Synopsis

The uses of social media these days abound, but what we often neglect is its true value within our communities.  Social media is easily viewed from two angles – personal use and business use.

Each channel began with its own specific community – people used Facebook to connect with friends from high school days, and Instagram to share the appeal of the meal they are about to eat.  At some point, this friendly engagement between people became a tappable resource for connecting businesses with clients and vice versa.  The value of these platforms to social media is painfully apparent, regardless of the near inability to deliver concrete ROI’s.

So what about social media works, and why do we keep coming back for more?  As extremely social animals with big brains, it is biologically ingrained in us to maintain contact.  Early groups of primates teamed up to find food together and watch out for each other – creating a safer community that could secure more resources.

Today we live in a world where it is unnecessary to forage for food (past the grocery store) and predation is a minimal occurrence. But a rather large portion of our brains adapted to seek out that sense of camaraderie.

While these needs don’t seem to be fading anytime soon, our ability to adapt our environment to suit these needs remains productive.  If our social media communication provides us with the information and stimulation that a physical community can provide – there is more time to focus on tasks at hand.

More to come on this topic in future blog posts