There's been many a research paper on social behavior, but none may be as tantalizing to communications pros as a book released late this year by two academics.
Researchers Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler give new meaning to the word “viral” in their book Connected: The Surprising Power of our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives. Through meticulous research the pair have come up with provocative findings such as:
• Happiness is contagious;
• Your future spouse is likely to be your friend’s friend; and,
• Your friends’ friends’ friends can make you fat, or thin.
Meticulously researched but written for the lay person, Connected contends that the world is governed by the Three Degrees of Influence Rule: We influence and are influenced by people up to three degrees removed from us. For social media and PR practitioners, the authors’ summation that “…like schools of fish changing direction in unison, we are unconsciously led by the people around us” should be a shot of pure adrenalin. PRN
Source: Connected: The Surprising Power of our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives