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Revealed: Why you spend spare time on Facebook



New York: Can’t help skimming through your Facebook timeline even as you take a break from work? You may just be wired to do so as the brain prepares us to be socially connected to other people even when we get some rest, says a new research.

“The brain has a major system that seems predisposed to get us ready to be social in our spare moments,” said the study’s senior author Matthew Lieberman, professor at University of California, Los Angeles.

During quiet moments, the brain is preparing to focus on the minds of other people — or to “see the world through a social lens,” Lieberman said.

Tracking brain activity of study participants using functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, the researchers found that a brain part called dorsomedial prefrontal cortex might turn on during dreams and rest in order to process our recent social experiences and update our understanding of the social world.

“It is part of a network in the brain that turns on when we dream and during periods of rest, in addition to when we explicitly think about other people,” Lieberman said.

“When I want to take a break from work, the brain network that comes on is the same network, we use when we are looking through our Facebook timeline and seeing what our friends are up to,” Lieberman said.

So although Facebook might not have been designed with the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex in mind, the social network is very much in sync with how our brains are wired.

“That is what our brain wants to do, especially when we take a break from work that requires other brain networks,” Lieberman said.

The study was published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. (IANS)

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‘Delete’ Facebook, says WhatsApp co-founder amid Cambridge Analytica scandal

Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014 but Acton remained with the company for several years

Facebook one of the most popular apps in US. Pixabay
Facebook alleged to be leaking user's information to governement. Pixabay
  • Brian Acton asked users to delete Facebook
  • It was due to data leakage allegations
  • Facebook faces backlash after allegations came to light

Brian Acton, co-founder of WhatsApp, late on Tuesday asked users to “delete” the social media platform, Facebook, amid alleged data leakage of its users for political purposes.

“It is time. #deletefacebook,” Brian Acton tweeted to more than 23,000 of his followers. WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014. Facebook is facing a major backlash after reports emerged that the political data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica, accessed the data of its 50 million users without their permission.

Facebook was previously accused of leaking information too. VOA

The company received the user data from a Facebook app years ago that purported to be a psychological research tool, however, the firm was not authorised to have that information.

Also Read: WhatsApp message to wrong number got this man hitched

Earlier on Tuesday, UK’s data protection watchdog sought a court warrant to search the London headquarters of the political data analytics consultancy that worked with Donald Trump’s election team and allegedly harvested Facebook profiles of US voters to influence their choices at the ballot box.

The UK Information Commissioner also ordered the auditors hired by Facebook to stand down when they visited the Cambridge Analytica headquarters. Meanwhile, lawmakers from the US and the UK have called for action following the reports of the data leak of the Facebook users.

Facebook invests big in Community Leaders Program. AFP
WhatsApp cofounder asked users to delete Facebook. AFP

Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014 but Acton remained with the company for several years before quitting to start “Signal Foundation” earlier in 2018.

Last month, he invested $50 million into “Signal”, an independent alternative to hugely-popular WhatsApp. Another WhatsApp co-founder, Jan Koum, still leads the company and sits on Facebook’s board. IANS

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