28
Feb
10

Networking: A Life or Death Decision!!

Two researchers have linked your networking to various facets of your life. Nicholas Christakis of Harvard and James Fowler of the University of California – San Diego researched networking and how connections affect our life. They presented an overview of their research on Minnesota Public Radio last week (click here to listen).

These connections can predict happiness, obesity, smoking, and other factors, based on the people in your network. Of course, it’s not magic, but rather the way we affect each other. The research shows that we are much more connected than we ever thought before. People even three connections away in our networks can have an effect on our health, outlook, and emotions.

Run with the crowd“There’s a quiet riot right under the surface.” The implication is that all of us are ready, at some level to take actions based on movements of the people around us. We take in messages and cues from the world around us, but it’s the people in our networks who hold the most sway over us.

That assertion opens a whole variety of implications about how we nurture our networks. Fowler and Christakis use the language of disease to discuss how behaviors and norms infiltrate networks. It’s not whether we want to be infected, but rather by whom and with what. Do we chose to be around happy, healthy, well-adjusted people, or will we settle for whoever connects with us?

It may literally be a life or death decision!

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