The Hidden Influence of Social Networks [TED Talk]

There seems to be word about a hidden influence of social networks which many of us are unaware of. Personally, I haven’t figured it out yet, however, Nicholas Christakis did! Christakis is an American physician and sociologist, known for his work on social networks and other factors that affect health, health care, and longevity.

I was always interested in knowing if anyone has looked into what effect virtual networking has on people’s lives. This is how I stumbled upon some studies by Christakis in the first place. In those studies, he talked the effect social networking has on actual reality and it was equally intriguing and important.

Here are some of his observation and findings:

  • Social networks are living things.
  • If your friends are obese, your risk of obesity is 45% higher; if your friends’ friends are obese, your risk of obesity is 25% higher; and if your friend’s friend’s friend — someone you probably don’t even know — is obese, then your risk of obesity is 10% higher.
  • There is emotional contagion that takes place in human populations. Emotions are a primitive form of communication. There seems to be emotional stampedes that ripple through human social networks.
  • Social networks are fundamentally related to goodness.

What do you think: Do you agree with some of Christakis’ findings and observations? Do you believe that social networks are fundamentally related to goodness?

Looking forward to your insights and feedback down below…

Comments and Reactions

  • I do agree with social networks somehow affects us, not conscious. But maybe not because they make us to do stuffs, but because we look for people related to us somehow, common things connects us to other people…. Very interesting!!!

  • And I also agree that connections are positive, kind. Because to relate to somebody else problem, we need to connect with him, and basically a selfish individual is the one who only connects with himself. I think it totally makes sense. GREAT VIDEO

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  • Roba

    Awesome Ted talk Beirut! Thanks for the share :)

  • I think his findings relate to actual social networks (i.e families, friends, co-workers) which we tend to mimic on social media, and what left me begging for me in his presentation is the question of how much of a factor the environment plays in shaping the people in them in contrast to people shaping each other

  •  we look for people related to us somehow, common things connects us to other people…. Very interesting!!!

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