The Hidden Influence of Our Social Networks

Following on from, and as an addition to, yesterday’s post regarding The Hidden Power of Friends – here is a fascinating talk by the social scientist, Nicholas Christakis at TED 2010.

In the talk Christakis discusses the vast social networks, of which we are all a part, and how they affect us in all kinds of ways. He examines how a wide variety of traits – from happiness to obesity – can spread from person to person and illustrates how our location within these networks might impact our lives.

He also examines emotions and how they spread (emotional contagion!) And posits that, “maybe, in fact, emotions have a collective existence, not just an individual existence”.

I find it compelling that not only our immediate networks but also people we may not even know can have a direct impact upon our lives on all sorts of myriad levels. And how, as a result, not just behaviour but what is the norm changes and morphs and spreads…

It’s well worth watching:

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