Peer pressure generally gets a bad rap, followed closely by the banality of social media. Yet recent research published on Nature.com reveals an exciting benefit from the peer pressure of social media networks.
A group of preteens participated in a study to ascertain the effectiveness of social media to motivate and affect changes in exercise behaviors. The students were rewarded for physical activity via social media, either randomly for the individual, within a ‘team’ perspective, or with reciprocal rewards for two friends.
Not surprisingly, the social-based reward system created a positive effect on changes in physical activity, with students achieving more than a 50% increase! The girls responded more effectively to the reciprocal rewards process (interaction between two friends), while the boys were more receptive to the team-based social rewards. Finally, a useful purpose for social media, and the positive impact peer pressure can potentially have!