For realz! An actual Harvard University study said as much.
If you are up for the challenge, you can read the study here, or you can just trust me. Trust me, trusting me is gonna be a lot easier!
The study set out to understand why human beings spend so much time talking about themselves. Apparently 30 – 40% of the hot air we generate is devoted to sharing thoughts, insights, fears and stories about, you guessed it, ourselves. Now, to take that into the modern age, 80% of social media posts are about what we just did, saw, or experienced, like just now. Anyone who has ever been on Facebook or Twitter knows what that means – “I just had coffee.” “Man, there’s a lot of traffic.” “I love Fridays!”
So, why do we do it? Why do we feel the need to talk about ourselves, and post banal or intimate details about our comings and goings? Why do we tell stories?
It’s cause it feels as good as sex!
Here’s the skinny on what the Harvard study did and found. Researchers hooked up test subjects to an MRI machine and watched their brain activity. They asked them to answer questions about other people, general knowledge or about themselves. The brain regions associated with reward – like from eating or having sex – lit up like the Fourth of July when people talked about themselves, and not so much when they talked about other stuff.
They also tested how important having an audience is when talking about yourself. Guess what? We like it when people watch. Just talking to ourselves – or having our thoughts kept private – did not fire up as many reward signals in the brain as when talking to someone who was listening or knowing our thoughts would be shared with others. In fact, the more the better.
So, next time you feel like you are missing that little somethin’ somethin’ in life, instead of harassing your partner to give you a little sugar, or hitting the bars to find a fling, try telling a story instead. It’s just as good – and I have a Harvard study to back me up on that!
Coincidentally, our next show is called “Sex, Love, and Relationships.” Come out and hear our stories, because we like it best when there’s an audience!