Nicholas Christakis brings a very interesting topic to the table when he talks about the hidden influences of social networks.  Now, while his thoughts are pretty obvious, he does provide interesting facts to support his theory.

Basically, an overarching summary of his clip is best described as people clustered together with similar interests, feelings, actions, etc. within a social network.  The beginning part of his video he talks about the epidemic of obesity and whether or not commonalities between these people are their joining social networks.  Those who tend to make unhealthy choices are bound to be within groups who have those same habits, as well as individual who smoke, drink excessively, etc.  He takes these types of groups and similarities and applies them to the social networking world.  Those who are negative seem to attract the same types of people and influence them and their friends, so on and so forth.  Because social networking branches a particular group further out and extends your “friends,” to the third, forth, fifth ect. level, people could potentially be affected by a blog, comment, action, etc.

He talks briefly about the causes of similarity and clustering within social networks.  One is induction, sort of a domino effect; homophily, ties people together within similar groups or “tribes,” and finally confounding, common exposures.  I find that personally, I have a domino effect on others and vise versa.  When people are on Facebook, complaining about their day and enough people are creating these negative postings, moods tend to shift to a unhappy state.  A few articles were published with evidence linking Facebook and depression, while researches disagree on whether it’s a medical condition or other circumstances, it can certainly alter ones mood.

We all have to stop and think of how this social network is shifting our fundamental ways of thinking.  Are we conforming to other groups without even noticing, are our habits changing because of this new trend, which Nicholas says is consistent and resilient?


About Spinto

Where to begin.... I was born and raised in the Burlington, Vermont area. After graduating college at Lyndon State College (wayyy northern Vermont), I moved to Massachusetts to work for a promotional products company. A few years later I relocated to western Massachusetts where I took a job at a community college as their in-house marketing manager. During this time, I decided to open the floodgates and own and operate my own business named Otnip Graphics. Otnip Graphics helps to positively promote business' through innovative marketing strategies and branded design collateral. All while this is going on, I decided I wanted to expand my knowledge in marketing to help our college keep a competitive advantage over local colleges, thus I enrolled myself in graduate school at SNHU to achieve my goals. Keeping myself busy and motivated is the only way I know and wouldn't change anything! On a more personal level (because I do have a personal life, I think...) I am getting married next October (Oct. 20) in Vermont. I have been chipping away at the large and small details to complete our wedding plans and hopefully while I accomplish all that I set out to do, I can relax and enjoy the wedding, and yes, the planning too. My hobbies include any kind of crafts/art projects I can get my hands on, watching brain rotting TV, skiing, running and enjoying time with my fiance and our little silky terrier, Pixie Lou.

One response »

  1. Great connection to Facebook and depression. I often find myself hiding some of my friends, or distant friends posts from my page simply because I don’t want to deal with all the negativity. Facebook can really shift a mood because people get on the bandwagon without even realizing it One negative or positive comment about something can spark a whole thread about the topic, possibly even shifting the topic to a more specific idea or instance. Facebook can really alter the tone and opinion because so many people are intertwined in the network. Networks move ideas faster than before because social media has such a powerful presence Great post!

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