46: You

A Thousand Things to Talk About
A Thousand Things to Talk About
46: You

Today, we’re talking about you.

What topic(s) can you talk for hours about?

Show notes and links:
Is it Really About Me? Message Content in Social Awareness Streams
You Took the Words Right Out of My Brain (New York University)

Full episode text

Communication is an incredibly powerful tool. And often, in person, we’re using it to talk about just one thing — ourselves. On social media, according to one study, 80% of our communication is about ourselves. No matter how often you say that you don’t like to talk about yourself, the fact is that talking about your opinions, your ideas, your thoughts, your projects, your passions feels good.

And not just in the metaphorical sense. Research from the Harvard University Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab found that self-disclosure activates several areas of the brain associated with the dopamine system. In other words, talking about yourself activates pleasurable feelings — which are, no surprise, pleasurable.

Of course, not everyone likes to listen to someone talking about themselves for hours. In fact, self-disclosure tends to encourage more self-disclosure, which leads to social connection. And while listening to others, our brain waves tend to adjust to match one another, which is a powerful connection.