February 9, 2012

Social Networking for your diabetes makes you highly positive

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So when I saw this study on how Facebook can affect your physical and psychological responses, immediately I see the segue into how it all comes together with diabetes. The peer-reviewed journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking published the findings of this study.

The impetus of this study was to understand why it is that social networking sites, like Facebook, have become so successful despite knowing that their use can have both positive and negative effects. For example – uploading flattering pics, lurking, or unfriending someone.

Researchers measured specific psychophysiological patterns in 30 healthy volunteers aged 19 to 25 during a three-minute exposure to each of three conditions: (1) while using Facebook (via their own personal accounts), (2) while observing a slide show of natural landscapes (a relaxation condition), or (3) while completing a Stroop test and mathematical task.

The Stroop Test is used as a diagnostic tool when determining an attention problem. In this test you are rapidly given names of colors (eg, RED, YELLOW, BLUE) and you have to say not the name that is spelled out but the color of the letters (so if the word RED is written in blue, you have to say “blue”).

The researchers found that the pattern for Facebook use was significantly different to the patterns for stress and relaxation. The biological signals for Facebook use correspond to what they describe as a “high positive valence and high arousal” frame of mind, or the “Core Flow State”.

For the people who use Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, Diabetes Daily, TuDiabetes, EsTuDiabetes, Diabetic Connect, DiabetesSisters, 1HappyDiabetic, or any other means of enhancing your diabetes life – this research supports the notion that it has positive effects on your mental performance!  

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