Enterprise Communications

James Fowler: Social Networks Aren't New

by Melanie Turek 11 Jan 2010
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In a recent interview with Stephen Colbert, James Fowler, the author of a new book called Connected, says we've always been affected by our social networks. Umm... not to put too fine a point on it, but no kidding. I studied social anthropology in college, and while that was admittedly a while ago, the first lesson learned is no man is an island, none of us stands alone. Fowler's research shows some interesting and perhaps unexpected connections among people several times removed, but human beings have always acted in ways that either mirrored or countered the group. Either way, the group matters.

What's interesting today is that because our most modern society has created more distance between us than ever before, we need to turn to technology to recreate some of those communities online. It will be interesting to see how Facebook, Twitter et.al. affect our personal interactions as well as broader societal behaviors down the line.

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