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Evolutionary Psychology, Social Emotions and Social Networking Sites -- An Integrative Model
Unformatted Document Text:  but are requested by others. Each network has different meanings to those who use them. Those desperate for social contact use SNS as an alternative attempt to satisfy their social emotions and to decrease disquilibrium. For them alienation could be a state of entropy caused by our evolutionary adaptations being under-utilized within modern society. Thus, total number of contacts on SNS may not be a true indicator of intimate connections. Perhaps some users have a broader network of affiliations and acquaintances, while other use SNS as a cathartic mean to feel connected with others. Individuals create social groups because of biological needs. Feeling alone and disengaged could be part of our instinctual need for social contact. Our lives are not experienced in a vacuum, creatures like ourselves directly respond and engage with our social environment. If these mechanisms do not have a means of being expressed through normal everyday interactions, we may seek out other ways to cope with our natural need to belong and connect. Perhaps these networks are an effort to satisfy social needs. The above discussion leads us to the following research question: RQ1: Is there a relationship between social networks/contacts and alienation? Alienation will be considered along four dimensions for this study: shame, guilt, envy and embarrassment. Additionally, alienation should be considered the social agent for engaging and triggering bodily emotive structures to respond because social emotions, grounded in our biochemical architecture, require social homeostasis. Since the social agent of alienation encourages dysfunction, in this state of atrophy the organism seeks a catharsis to satiate its need for homeostasis. RQ2: Do people with more contacts feel less alienated? 13

Authors: Suran, Sandra., Pettey, Gary., Bracken, Cheryl. and Whitbred, Robert.
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but are requested by others. Each network has different meanings to those who use them. Those 
desperate for social contact use SNS as an alternative attempt to satisfy their social emotions and 
to decrease disquilibrium. For them alienation could be a state of entropy caused by our 
evolutionary adaptations being under-utilized within modern society. Thus, total number of 
contacts on SNS may not be a true indicator of intimate connections. Perhaps some users have a 
broader network of affiliations and acquaintances, while other use SNS as a cathartic mean to 
feel connected with others.
Individuals create social groups because of biological needs. Feeling alone and 
disengaged could be part of our instinctual need for social contact.  Our lives are not experienced 
in a vacuum, creatures like ourselves directly respond and engage with our social environment. 
If these mechanisms do not have a means of being expressed through normal everyday 
interactions, we may seek out other ways to cope with our natural need to belong and connect. 
Perhaps these networks are an effort to satisfy social needs.
The above discussion leads us to the following research question:
     RQ1: Is there a relationship between social networks/contacts and alienation?
Alienation will be considered along four dimensions for this study: shame, guilt, envy 
and embarrassment.  Additionally, alienation should be considered the social agent for engaging 
and triggering bodily emotive structures to respond because social emotions, grounded in our 
biochemical architecture, require social homeostasis.  Since the social agent of alienation 
encourages dysfunction, in this state of atrophy the organism seeks a catharsis to satiate its need 
for homeostasis.  
RQ2: Do people with more contacts feel less alienated?
13


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