We have all seen examples of people acting very stupid on Facebook and other social networking sites. They post and talk about things no seemingly normal person would ever admit. One argument is that these sites just make us act dumber, but there is evidence that seeks to explain this phenomena using basic scientific and psychological theories. Throughout the evolution of species avoiding confrontation has had significant advantages, it can prevent you from getting killed by something that is more fit than you. This evolutionary adaptation continues to effect us in social settings. Someone may have an idea but be afraid of confronting the group or the leader because of a natural adaptation to avoid confrontation. The idea is that social sites remove some of the social stigma of acting stupid and going against the group. When less-intelligent people post ignorant statuses they lack the intuition to realize the social implications of their posts. This phenomena is called the online disinhibition effect and was first discovered by John Suler of . While it is possible that these statuses are going to ruin us, in my opinion all that is really happening is that people are becoming more honest and open about their beliefs which is important for society in the long run.
The Psychology of Social-network Sites
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