Hidden Influence of Social Networks - Essay Example

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In the paper “Hidden Influence of Social Networks” the author explores how social networks have huge influence on families, co-workers and friends. He explores how a wide variety of traits which is from happiness to obesity can spread from one individual to another in the society…
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Hidden Influence of Social Networks
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Topic: INTRODUCTION Controversy: Influence of social networks. and his point of view: Nicholas Christakis; The hidden influence of social networks.
Research question: Do social networks have hidden influence on human beings.
Ted talks are extremely effective since they involve non-traditional ways of giving a “speech” to the audience. The Ted talk about social networks by Nicholas addresses the local audience at an official TED conference. Nicholas Christakis explores how social networks have huge influence on families, co-workers and friends. He explores how a wide variety of traits which is from happiness to obesity can spread from one individual to another in the society (Christakis, 2010). He explains this to the local audience and explores how location a person’s location in the network might hugely impact his or her life in ways they don’t even know nor have an idea about. Nicholas uses rhetorical questions, movement, comical images and gestures to make the local audience to pay attention to his talk. Nicholas says that, individuals form social networks simply because the accrued benefits of a connected individual life outweigh the costs. Nicholas explores how he was a hospice doctor at the University of Chicago and how he used to take care of people who were dying and their families (Christakis, 2010). Those deaths really affected their families, friends and even him hence they got socially disturbed. He says that, “so, when I die, my wife’s risk of death can double, for instance in the first year”. On the other hand, he addresses the local audience telling them that the widowhood effects are not restricted to only wives and husbands. They are also experienced in all sorts of relationship including spousal and marriage and friendship sets of connections. Nicholas asked rhetorical questions such as, “why are we embedded in social networks?” “How do they operate?” “And how do they affect us?” (Christakis, 2010)
Nicholas says that emotions which are fundamental may causes of human networks which are encoded in our genes. He continues explaining how human social networks look like a regular lattice and specific patterns with particular structures. He gives an example of a real network of college students at an elite northeastern university. He uses and highlights a few dots. He says that if an individual looks at the dots, a comparison of node B in the upper left to node D in the far right; B has four friends coming out from him and D has six friends coming out from him (Christakis, 2010). This implies that the two individuals have different friend numbers. Therefore, other aspects of social network structures are not so obvious according to Nicholas. He also addresses the audience using signs and gestures to explain to them the pattern of connections of among people thus conferring upon the groups of people different properties in context (Christakis, 2010).
The purpose of Nicholas’ talk was to sensitize the local audience about the effects which are brought about by social networks. When people are connected through blood or friendship, if one of them is deceased or has a big problem, other people related or surrounding him or her, are in one way or another affected. The talk’s purpose is to make people aware of the hidden influence which is brought about by social networks in the society. When a child, for example, is involved in a crime scene and gets killed, his family, relatives, community and friends in a certain way become affected. They may become depressed thus end up developing illness which may result to death.
Works cited
Nicholas Christakis, TED Talks, Films Media Group, 2010; The hidden Influence of Social Networks, New York, NY. Read More
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