Oyxtocin raised by social networking

Paul Zak, a university professor and popular ‘neuroeconominist’, has claimed to have found that oxytocin levels are raised by using social networking sites such as Twitter – just as they are in real face-to-face relationships.

The experiment was performed on one person only, but if accepted does appear to have implications both for understanding how oxytocin is triggered in human relationships and also in taking seriously the idea that online networking is just as ‘real’ as offline human interaction.

In a sense, social networking is undeniably safer and more controlled than that in the real world – you can easily block unwanted contacts for example.  Therefore, it shouldn’t be altogether surprising that the ‘trust hormone’ is easily switched on when interacting online.