A little variation on a gene associated with the oxytocin could make us prone to following more people in Instagram. It is the conclusion of a study that has just been published in Heliyon by a team of scientists from the Nanyang Technological University, located in Singapore.
Without a doubt, it is a curious fact, which highlights the relevance of the so-called love hormone in the development of social relationships. Also in a online environment.
However, the study authors themselves have highlighted that it has been carried out with a very small sample of people, in a very specific environment, so results should be viewed with caution. Now, what exactly have these consisted of?
Oxytocin, attachment and social networks
The oxytocin is a hormone generated in the hypothalamus, with a multitude of functions. For example, it is closely related to the development of labor contractions.
Oxytocin is generated during orgasm, but it is also related to attachment in established couples
But, without a doubt, something for which she is also well known is her role in the social relationships, loving or not. More than the love hormone, as it is often known, it is the attachment hormone. It is the cause of link immediate that is generated between someone who has just given birth and their child. It is generated during orgasm, to cause uterine contractions that favor the ascent of the sperm towards the oocyte. But she is also responsible for the calm affection of the consolidated couples, once the dopamine euphoria has subsided.
It has a lot to do with family and partner relationships. However, it is still a hormone linked to social relationships, whatever their nature. And this is also related to genes.
Specifically, the role of the gene that carries the instructions for the synthesis of an oxytocin receptor, the OXTR. It has been studied that small variations in the sequence of the little bricks that compose it, called nucleotides, can generate interesting effects. For example, the change of single nucleotide can predict parental behavior and attachment. Other variations are linked to the search for a greater social support in hostile situations and some influence empathy and marital satisfaction.
It is seen that it is clearly related to the way we relate to those around us physically. But what about our relationships on social media like Instagram?
Looking for friends on Instagram
For the study that has just been published, 57 students of own Nanyang Technological University, all of them aged between 18 and 25 years old.
The study reviewed the Instagram profiles of 57 students who also had DNA samples taken
Samples of their DNA were taken and in parallel a survey on anxiety and avoidance in close relationships with their partners. But that was not all. Their profiles on InstagramFrom posts to followers to followed profiles.
Thus, they found that those participants who had a specific variant of OXTR tended to follow more people on Instagram, regardless of your intimate relationships. Therefore, in this case there did not appear to be significant interactions between genes associated with oxytocin and the environment, but there did appear to be significant interactions with social networks.
In any case, it should be noted that we are talking about only 57 people, all of them from the same university. It would be necessary to cover more countries and more participants, to be able to speak of stronger results. Even so, as the lead author of the study explained in a statement, Gianluca Esposito placeholder image, their results can be very useful in inspiring future research on online sociability from a gene-environment perspective. And, if your following list on Instagram does not stop climbing day after day, it is possible that part of the fault lies with your genes. They provoke you that great interest in exploring the posture of others.