Posted by & filed under Intergroup Relations, Social Cognition, Social Influence, Social Perception, Social Psychology, Social Psychology, The Self.

Description: Think back (perhaps back to your grade school days) and think of a time or situation where you got left out by your peers, where you did not get invited to a birthday party or asked to play in a recess game. How did that make you feel?  Does that sort of thing not happen as much to you now? Well, what about your social media connections? Do you get left out there from time to time? We are a social species and as such we are quite sensitive to noting situations that involve social exclusion and social networks may actually provide more opportunities for social exclusion than old school face-to-face social interaction. So, think about your social networking activities and think about the amount of social exclusion anxiety you encounter on a week to week basis. Also think a bit about what we might do to get people to increase the number of things they do socially on social media networks that could increase rather than decrease social inclusion. After that bit of thinking read through the article linked below to see how the social psychologist author of the article designed studies to look at these questions.

Source: Can Mindfulness Make Us Kinder? Kirk Warren Brown, Being There, Psychology Today.

Date: October 3, 2018


Article Link:

If you think about it you can see that while social media makes it possible to connect in some ways with many people at a distance such connections also tend to shift you out of the moment or, more specifically, out of the here and now. If connecting socially in the her and now is what we evolved to view as base social connectedness, then perhaps being more mindful would reduce social exclusion and increase social kindness. That is what the author of the article linked about found in his research. People who completed a mindfulness exercise prior to engaging with others over social media di show more kindness and social inclusiveness. Perhaps mindfulness checks are things we could engage in that would make us more “real” by face-to-face social interaction standards and move us towards being more positively social inclusive in our interactions.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What is social exclusion and how does it arise in social media-based interactions?
  2. How are social inclusion and kindness related?
  3. What sorts of things should we think about or engage in if we want to ensure that our social interactions over social media do not include a problematic level of social exclusion?

References (Read Further):

Berry, D. R., Cairo, A. H., Goodman, R. J., Quaglia, J. T., Green, J. D., & Brown, K. W. (2018). Mindfulness increases prosocial responses toward ostracized strangers through empathic concern. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 147(1), 93.

Selten, J. P., Booij, J., Buwalda, B., & Meyer-Lindenberg, A. (2017). Biological mechanisms whereby social exclusion may contribute to the etiology of psychosis: a narrative review. Schizophrenia bulletin, 43(2), 287-292.

Riva, P., Montali, L., Wirth, J. H., Curioni, S., & Williams, K. D. (2017). Chronic social exclusion and evidence for the resignation stage: An empirical investigation. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 34(4), 541-564.

Graeupner, D., & Coman, A. (2017). The dark side of meaning-making: How social exclusion leads to superstitious thinking. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 69, 218-222.