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SxD in Theory: Psychology

In spite of all the social in social media, there's no denying that online social interactions can be isolating, distant, and unemotional or affectless. At the end of the day it is a medium through which users, by self-motivating and engaging themselves in the presentation of a social experience, invent and imagine their way through communication and social interaction.

This is how modern media work — and for better or worse it's how social media work, too. We don't doubt that the superbowl is real, or that we're watching it live, and for reasons that would escape most of the rest of the animal kingdom, we get excited by the reality of what happens on that screen (six second delay or no). In order to sustain individual user involvement in social media, content and features have to successfully put user psychology into play. Users need to be able to imagine, reflect, monitor, and when they face doubts, risk, embarassment, surprise, curiosity, or any other kind of ambiguity, it should be possible for them to succeed nonetheless at what they're doing. As it should be possible for the site to benefit from their actions and behaviors. This is all a matter of psychology, for it involves what users think they're accomplishing as much as anything else.

The user is a person — whose personal interests are best piqued through unknowns
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