And I’m not (only) talking about facebook, hi5, myspace, orkut etc. No in this case i really mean all kinds of social networks especially the “real” ones – they have an immense value and the influence you have on your friends and the influence they have on you is just enormous.
I decided to write this post after watching a TED Talk called “Nicholas Christakis: The hiddeninfluence of social networs” at lunch. In his talk Mr. Nicholas Christakis explains how he researched and studied social network and the various influences that they have on human behavior.
Despite being obvious that your friends have influence on you and vice-versa i was quite impressed by the “numbers” as he states that the influence not only huge but that it goes through you and it is passed on to your friends, their friends and so on. Ok that was confusing let me be more clear: A – is a “big person” he/she influences you and you will influence C who is your friend but does not even know A and more… that C will influence D who you don not know at all. In this case the influence may be direct: “Let’s go eat a Super-Giga-Enormous McMenu” or indirect in a way that it affects the “acceptable body size” of a person.
The extent of the influence is i must say quite amazing as A does influence many levels of the social graph. This means that persons that don’t know each other have influence on each other up to many levels of “separation”.
The value of social network is immense and one should have a “good one” as persons who are at the edges of the social graphs (who have less friends) tens to be unhappier. Or maybe it could be the other way around … maybe they have less friends because they are unhappy persons.
The point is that persons with a good social network tend to be happier and I dare to say that probably they’ll be more successful socially and professionally too. My last piece of advice would be value your friends, relatives and grow a strong social network.
What about you, what is your opinion on this topic?
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