According to Nicholas Christakis and his speech on “The Hidden influence of social networks,” what we see around us influences how we act or what becomes of us. He starts off by explaining it is like the “widower effect.” If something happens to someone we love, then we start to change.
The thing that made this video stick out to me what that he started talking about the obesity epidemic. If I am around people, according to him, that are obese, then I have a greater chance of become obese. If I know someone who knows someone who is obese, then I still have a chance of becoming obese. It is all based on connections.
So how does social networks play into this? Let’s say we are all a dot. If slowly we start making lines and connections between each dot, slowly will will have a spider web going on. Slowly, more dots will become more popular with more lines and more people knowing that dot.
What if the queen of the dots was always posting pictures of herself dressed in revealing clothing? This could influence the other dots. This is something that the obesity comment was making. Who we surround ourselves with and what our friends are doing affects us, whether we like it or not. What if the most popular dot had pictures from a crazy weekend up. Underage drinking is enough of a problem, but social networking sites have allowed for young people to boast about things that happen. People can post a picture of a friend that pasted out with their shoes on and is now covered in sharpie to their facebook from a cell phone.
There are hidden influences from social networking sites that were pointed out in the film. It is just a matter if we are willing to look at the negative given all the positive. I am sure that people out there can think of a negative hidden consequence of Facebook. I know I can.
Who are your friends on Facebook?