Social media and ambient humanity

I can’t get this quote from Dan Cohen’s Back to the Blog out of my head:

It is psychological gravity, not technical inertia, however, that is the greater force against the open web. Human beings are social animals and centralized social media like Twitter and Facebook provide a powerful sense of ambient humanity—the feeling that “others are here”—that is often missing when one writes on one’s own site. Facebook has a whole team of Ph.D.s in social psychology finding ways to increase that feeling of ambient humanity and thus increase your usage of their service.

For anyone who doesn’t get why features like Instagram Stories are so popular, there you go. “Ambient humanity” is a very strong force. We share seemingly insignificant details about our lives not because we think everything we do is important or worth sharing. We do it to know we’re not alone.

(link via Kottke.org)