Connectedness matters. These influence many parts of our life including our beliefs, our health, our careers and how we feel — some for better and some for worse. The book explores the power of connections through a number of different perspectives such as relationships, emotions, politics, economy, health, evolution, the digital world and systems. Transivity i. Friends give us permission and safety to do things. Likewise what we do echoes out through three levels of friends before it loses its energy and impact.

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Connectedness matters. These influence many parts of our life including our beliefs, our health, our careers and how we feel — some for better and some for worse. The book explores the power of connections through a number of different perspectives such as relationships, emotions, politics, economy, health, evolution, the digital world and systems. Transivity i. Friends give us permission and safety to do things.

Likewise what we do echoes out through three levels of friends before it loses its energy and impact. It is complex, dynamic and constantly evolving. Cf how a flock of geese has no leader but it self organises.

Emotions are a genetically inspired way of quickly spreading information that people pay attention to. Tanzania — in a mission boarding school near Lake Victoria, there was an epidemic of laughter, which affected over people.

It began on January 30 th and lasted for 9 months. Certain people are more susceptible than others and likewise, certain people are more influential than others. Likewise in teams, emotions quickly spread — And when a team is happy, its been shown that performance improves. At 2 nd degree of influence i. Also the closeness of happy people affects us.

When a friend lives less than 1 mile away becomes happy, it can increase your chance of becoming happy. Consequently, the people one spends the most time with heavily influence ones mood. Likewise loneliness begets loneliness. Also proximity to other lonely people also increases ones tendency towards loneliness. Over time, spouses become increasingly similar to each other.

How we look affects how we are treated. Thus networks can heavily affect our personal identity we often live up to — or down to — the expectations of others. Social pressure and compliance — we are heavily influenced by others. The power of social compliance is often underestimated. Wikipedia is an open system that anyone can edit. What is interesting is it has no centralised control and like many self-organising teams with no formal authority, manages to resist abuse by applying self-policing, peer group pressure.

Comparisons to others are a key factor in determining contentment. Economist Galbraith once commented, many consumer demands stem not from innate need but more from social pressure. Katie Camen studied charity giving by employees and found that employees gave more when they worked next to someone who was very generous.

Every month 11m people play World of Warcraft — a number greater than the population of Belgium. Unfortunately, rather than operating in one isolated area of the game it rapidly spread and infected the whole game.

Eventually they had to switch the game off, clean out the infection and then reboot the system. The spread mimicked how real diseases could spread and many health organizations have studied what happened in this virtual world. Germs are not the only things that can spread — behaviours can as well. The biggest predictors of grades in US Universities are the grades of the other people in their dorm.

Anorexic role models like Calista Flockhart, Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham may influence but our immediate friends are more influential. This provides a positive reference experience of success, so building their own belief that success is also possible for them.

Network science can identify those influential people at the heart of networks, so they can be targeted. The more we relate to a group or want to be a part of it, the more influential their norms will be upon us. We are more influenced by people of the same sex.

And people at the centre of a network have more influence than those on the periphery. Even some illnesses can be influenced by networks. Back pain is a culture-bound syndrome e. Likewise we see contagiousness in suicides.

The research suggests that younger people are more susceptible to influence the rates drops away by age The banking crisis — people get swept along by the wisdom of the crowd where we assume that because everyone else is doing something it must be okay. The value of something is defined by what other people think its worth — e. If you put in a bid for an item, and then someone else bids more for it, then that new bid has confirmed that someone else thinks that item is worth that amount of money — which then encourages you to put in a new bid and so on….

For networks to be effective they also need ties into other networks — e. Uzzi studied Broadway successes and flops — the best mix was a core that had worked together before, but with some new people who could bring in fresh ideas. Networks that are more insular are less equipped to solve novel problems than those networks with lots of interconnections with other networks.

Furthermore, he used the Internet to communicate directly with people rather than have his views expressed through the mouthpiece of journalists — hence he was able to successfully distance himself from the controversial Pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

Whilst no one vote has ever swung any election, a decision to vote increases the likelihood of others to vote. Coming up to an election we will hold c20 discussions about it. This also follows the rule of 3 degrees of influence as the impact ripples out. It appears the less innocuous and less pressurised the flow of information, the more open and hence susceptible to the message one is so the hard-sell door stepper is less influential than the casual chat over the garden fence. Research by Lazersfeld and Berelson has shown that online social networks are homophilic i.

Information is used more to reinforce existing opinions than it is to exchange differing points of view. A study of interconnections between blogs followed clearly illustrates this political divide:. Furthermore its useful to have connections with people who themselves are well connected — thus one person may only be connected with say 10 people, but if those 10 people have contacts each and each of those have contacts each then that creates a potential network of 10, people.

Networks have been fundamental to the advancement of the human species. People who worked together were able to kill more prey and were able to protect each other against predators human and animal. Our brains have developed in a way that deals with relationships. The larger the group, the greater the complexity. Neuro scientists have found we use a large part of our brain to monitor social interactions. The Internet is creating new ways to connect and share e. Foursquare uses digital technology to tell people where their friends are so they can meet up physically.

We are now hyper connected, sharing large chunks of our daily lives with a wide group of friends — thus we know more about more people. Will these social network relationships replace our deeper personal connections? Research suggests that like the advent of the phone, these technologies supplement the development of relationships rather than supplant them.

Research by looking at mutual tagging of pictures suggests the real level of close friends is 6. The Internet has allowed the development of new types of connections that were not previously possible.

Residents who used the Internet knew more of their neighbours by name, had made more phone calls to them, and had visited their houses more often. It also facilitated the mobilization of community activities, events along with the development of a pressure group against the builders. The connections with each other reinforce their belief system and legitimise their actions.

On January , Oscar Morales, a year-old engineer from Colombia mobilized millions on his social network. Its numbers swelled to , within 4 weeks, and on Feb. The spread of information and the collision of many different perspectives are key to the process of innovation. The Internet has allowed the rapid spread and co-creation of ideas such as Linux and Firefox and Wikipedia.

Digital connections are increasing both the number of connections we have but also the speed that unedited information can pass around cf Wiki-leaks. Online provides new avenues for influence and social contagion, but the spread of emotions needs face-to-face communication.

Overall the evidence suggests that online networks are less influential than real life relationships. The circles we move-in are highly influential on the quality of life and the opportunities we have. People with more ties will get even more and those with few ties will get left behind — thus the Internet merely amplifies their current situation. We achieve more in groups than we can ever achieve by ourselves. And co-operative interactions are the hallmark of all major evolutionary leaps.

Social networks have greater intelligence than the individual. They can capture and contain information that is transmitted across people and can perform computations that aggregate millions of decisions such as setting a market price or deciding who will be elected.

As a connected system, we act more like a super organism cf ants. And like a super organism our networks are self-replicating and self-annealing they self-repair. Whilst one end of science is focusing on deconstruction of the whole — reducing it down from life to organs to subatomic particles, there is another branch of science which is taking a macro view and looking more at total systems approach — seeing earthquakes and market crashes as bursts of activity in a larger system.

The recent economic problems were part of a globally interconnected economy. The beauty about social networks is that more of us are more connected than we have ever been before — and the power of the unified super organism allows us to achieve major breakthroughs much larger than ever seen before in the history of man. The book is well researched and is full of examples to support their thesis.

The thesis itself is hardly revolutionary but its potency does help us to think of both how we are influenced and how we might influence. Clearly there are many other forms of influence that operate on us as well as counter behavioural activity such as losing weight, sad people etc etc.

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Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives

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You and Your Friend’s Friend’s Friends

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Q&A with Nicholas Christakis: Our modern, connected lives

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Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Celebrated scientists Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler explain the amazing power of social networks and our profound influence on one another's lives. Your colleague's husband's sister can make you fat, even if you don't know her. A happy neighbor has more impact on your happiness than a happy spouse. These startling revelations of how much we truly influence one another are revealed in the studies of Dr. Christakis and Fowler, which have repeatedly made front-page news nationwide.

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