BODY INFLAMMATION LITERALLY DRIVES PEOPLE ONTO SOCIAL MEDIA TO INTERACT WITH OTHERS
So this news is food for thought, especially for me as I am more than officially middle aged, and have some very real mileage on several joints. But even if I wasn’t and didn’t, the new Covid reality and varying degrees of body inflammation would still apply. And, well, that reality pretty much includes everyone in the world. So what is the news? Well, a recent study at the University of Buffalo has found that body inflammation can drive people onto social media. Now that sounds kind of inflammatory all on its own, doesn’t it?
PEOPLE’S BODY INFLAMMATION “PROMOTES SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT BEHAVIOR”
But it’s rather more interesting than inflammatory, at least when you get into some of the specifics. One of the money quotes from the study is that body inflammation “experimentally elevating inflammation promotes social engagement behavior.” While that is a little wordy, essentially it means that the study has found a connection between inflammation and a person’s need to engage with people socially. My first reaction is wondering about how this plays out in retirement homes. But then I wonder a little bit more about the science as to why this happens. What is it about inflammation that makes our brains want to interact with other people?
BODY INFLAMMATION MAKES OUR LIVERS PRODUCE C-REACTIVE PROTEIN, WHICH MAKES US FEEL SOCIAL
The study involved over 1,800 participants, giving the researchers a decent pool of data to sift thru for patterns to identify causality. As in: the more my knees are inflamed, the more time I spend on Facebook, TikTok or Instagram. The researchers found that increased levels of C-reactive protein (or CRP) can make people (particularly middle-aged adults and college students) more inclined to go onto social media. Our livers make C-reactive protein as a reaction to body inflammation. Even more interesting, the study’s participants went onto social media more (with body inflammation) to interact with people specifically, not to consume content or simply browse.
I guess this may help to explain older folks spending so much time on social media these days. Well, and Kevin Durant.