The Influence of Social Networks

I watched the TED Talk called “The Influence of Social Networks” by Nicholas Christakis and am now reflecting on my own social networks. Unfortunately, despite surrounding myself with skinny friends, I can honestly say that their body size has had no direct positive correlation on my own! I wonder what this means in a virtual learning environment? I was interested in the screencasts he displayed of the various ways in which individuals are connected and I think this class opens up another realm of possibilities.

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~ by lewisv on October 3, 2010.

3 Responses to “The Influence of Social Networks”

  1. You make an interesting point about who we choose to associate with in the physical world and in online social networks. It’s easy to connect and communicate with those who agree with us or to whom we easily relate. It’s a bit more challenging to force yourself to consider the opinions or position of those with whom you do not agree. I think it’s essential to teach our students the importance of opposing views. I sincerely try to connect with points of views different than my own. This has two benefits. I learn so much more, and it makes me even more critical of everything I read.

  2. I saw also the video, that was GREAT. It’s really amazing how he could explain that. I can relate to food with my brothers. They always eat more than what I do. When I was young I used to eat just like them because they take more of mom’s delicious food. I gained weight, but not much. I learned after that men eat more than what women do. But, sometimes this gets off me because I usually do not eat dinner (not the main course in Egypt, but because they tempt me to eat, I just eat 😦

    This is not only in food, it’s nearly in everything. In my culture, we emphasize the importance of choosing friends because we reflect their manners whether bad or good. So, I think it’s more or less everything in life, one’s social connections influence people attitudes.

  3. Your implied question … “despite surrounding myself with skinny friends, I can honestly say that their body size has had no direct positive correlation on my own” … Why am I not picking up the positive habits of my friends?

    I think it might mean that we are more easily tempted to the negative and must develop the positive on our own. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/25/health/25iht-fat.4.6830240.html

    I’ve read somewhere (and I can’t find it at the moment) that arguing (not fighting) actually helps keep the mind in shape. So I suggest finding those who have different view points and building healthy disagreements. Who knows you might change your views, but honestly the real benefit is clarifying your own views. Something that really can’t be done well when everyone thinks the same way.

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