Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Bragging and Boasting: It Is Science!

Ann Althouse linked to this story. Now, as you can tell from my Google+ page, I don't brag. Anyway, the thrust of the article, like any good article, is right in the front: "Talking about ourselves—whether in a personal conversation or through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter—triggers the same sensation of pleasure in the brain as food or money, researchers reported Monday." Which clearly means that I should try and blog more frequently.

Which makes sense why people like to blog and comment on blogs. People do things that make them feel good. This is pretty basic stuff. Tying it back to yesterday's post on Wired's piece on fanfiction, I think this might also play into why kids like to play make believe with themselves as the hero (besides, you know, because it is awesome).

I am curious though, how much longer will people put a premium on self expression? Right now, I can go tweet to my heart's content, throw out a few hundred words of bilge and hit post, etc., etc. How much longer before, society as a whole, stops thinking this is fun? With blogs replacing the diaries of the past, I wonder what future historians will look at. What people write about for other people to read, for example, changes than when they write for themselves. How does that influence works like this one? If I were writing in my little pink diary with my feathered pen, would it be different? Is the mental payoff the same?

Some questions: How much money were they offered? At higher amounts, does the incentive to boast taper off? They said their test subjects were local, were they self selected? Do we think that people who elected to be a part of a study might be more extroverted than a representative population (was the population representative?)

I already traced this back to blog theme number two, history. But, to tie it to fiction, I know that when I write fiction, I include bits of me in it. It may not always be apparent how, but it is there. I think that's true for most fiction writers (even the ones who say it isn't true. Because fiction writers are all liars by trade.) I need to pay attention over the next few days to see how close I come to talking about myself 40 percent of the time.

Anyway, here's a pretty flower.

See? It is pretty.



The irony of "I don't brag" is not lost on me. Also, a few more days to catch up on How Much History Does My Fiction Need and a chance to ask for the draft of the story I'll be using as my case study.

Also, did you see my AP Style training sneak in there at the end? Also, I'm kind of insulted by this. Am I over reacting? Maybe I'll post some thoughts on that tomorrow.

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