Are you a social media addict?
If you are one of the millions of Australians and people around the globe who can't go a day without checking, sharing or logging into a social media account, then you may be a social media addict.
You might also find yourself on the receiving end of quite a lot of ribbing about supposed ego problems.
However, researchers at Harvard think that science may be behind the reasons why so many people feel compelled to share even the most mundane details about their lives on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Instagram and Pinterest.
The study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, examined the brain activity of participants using an MRI machine while they were online.
In one scenario, those who took part in the study even turned down cash incentives to talk about someone else so that they could continue to keep the topic firmly on themselves.
Based on these results, it was found that the majority of subjects gained a sense of pleasure from the act of self-disclosure.
Lead researcher Diana Tamir conducted the social experiments with her co-author Jason Mitchell, with the aim of finding out what people found so rewarding about posting or sharing personal information to large, virtual audiences.
"We didn't know if self-disclosure was rewarding because you get to think about yourself and thinking about yourself is rewarding, or if it is important to have an audience," explained Tamir.
"I think the study helps to explain why people utilise social media websites so often. I think it helps explain why Twitter exists and why Facebook is so popular, because people enjoy sharing information about each other."
Posted by Aimee McBride