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Connected

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  2,541 Ratings  ·  254 Reviews
Renowned scientists Christakis and Fowler present compelling evidence for our profound influence on one another's tastes, health, wealth, happiness, beliefs, even weight, as they explain how social networks form and how they operate.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published September 28th 2008)
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Trevor
There are a number of things I’ve been thinking about lately and quite a few of those things are discussed here in this book. So, in a sense I should have found this much more interesting than I did. Overall, I was a little disappointed even though I think this book has an important message and has interesting things to say about a number of incredibly important issues.

If I had written this book…

It is hard to say just what the perfect society might be for humans, but what we have today seems pre
...more
Margie
Aug 31, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people with very short attention spans
Recommended to Margie by: GoodReads giveaways
Shelves: first-reads, society
I've read a couple of reviews by professionals, and have been really surprised that everyone focuses on the content, and no one mentions how poorly organized the book is.

The data is very interesting and compelling. And the authors aren't bad writers. But I'm simply stunned that people who talk about using visualization software to map the topology of social networks can't come up with some workable, organized map of how to present their findings. They seem to rely on having interesting anecdotes
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Jason
May 18, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Superorganism. We've animated! We've vivified. Social Media, social networking, geolocation, Goodreads, bookmarking, news aggregators, RSS feeds, it goes on and on. We've layered ourselves in so many overlapping, four-dimensional, self-annealing, anfractuous networks that we exist as single honeycombs in a living hive of millions. There are invisible lines that leave your body and connect to other people in ways you can't even represent on paper, exploding outward in fractal, logarithmic ste ...more
Erika RS
May 30, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book had some great information packed inside of a repetitive package that wasn't very sticky.

Once you picked up the key ideas, most of the conclusions followed in a fairly obvious manner. The key ideas or, at least, the ones that I remember, were:
- Network influence tends to travel three degrees before shrinking to statistical insignificance. You influence your friends, friends' friends, and friends' friends' friends, and they influence you back. The strength of influence decreases with e
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Glenn Myers
Only three stars for this well-researched, original and intriguing book, mainly because I was much more interested in the original and intriguing conclusions rather than the many pages of social and psychological research and anecdote. These Harvard profs doubtless want to strut their academic stuff but I would have liked (at least) more in the way of summary and signpost, For all that, fascinating, thought-provoking and one of those books that makes you think differently for ever after.

Here ar
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Raluca Popescu
Oct 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A rather "classical" pop-science book, using simplified research and examples to explain, this time, the interesting-ness and power of human networks. Going from prehistoric social mechanisms to digital hyperconnectivity, Christakis and Fowler make a point about how our web of human relationships ends up defining who we are. An enjoyable and well-structured read finished up with an extensive reading list for the research-oriented.
Nick Argiriou
Connectivity theory ή η θεωρία της δικτύωσης: Οι συγγραφείς κάνουν εξαιρετική δουλειά στο να αναγνωρίσουν και να μεταδώσουν τον τρόπο της κοινωνικής δικτύωσης που έχει μείνει απαρράλαχτος από την εποχή των σπηλαίων ως στη σημερινή εποχή της διαδικτυακής εγγύτητας, αλλά και αυτές που έχουν διαμορφώσει καινούριες ατομικές και κοινωνικές σχετικότητες. Έτσι ο κόσμος μας απαρτίζεται από κυρίως “συνεργατικούς” ανθρώπους ανάμεσα στους οποίους βρίσκονται και κάποιοι “παρτάκηδες”, που όμως αντιμετωπίζουν ...more
Charlene
Because I love networks, love Stanley Milgram, love the many social network studies that make for entertaining reading, I thought I would love this book. Far from loving it, I found it extremely annoying. So much old guard evolutionary bullshit. This book deserves to be shelved with David Buss, Dawkins, and Helen Fisher. What a terrible thing to do to such a great subject.
Ann
May 22, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I thought this was a "blah" book, and that was just because first of all, I couldn't figure out what the big idea was, and second, I felt that the idea was not developed, just iterated. The idea seems to be that we are influenced not just by the people we interact with directly, but with the people who know the people we know. A game of "three degrees of separation", essentially. Well, I didn't find that so surprising or shocking. The authors try very hard to make this idea sound groundbreaking ...more
Dirk
Feb 02, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book is very interesting as it provides a readable and intelligible introduction into studies of networks and social networks. It has been written by two promoters of social network theory. Hence you won't find any critique of the theories they promote in this book. For example the transposition of the network concepts from the natural sciences onto the social sciences remains unquestioned although there is a 100year old history of studies that criticise such transpositions. In particular, t ...more
Thomas Edmund
Mar 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Non-fiction is always such a risk, especially anything that could be considered pop-psychology. Connected paid off however, presenting an interesting thesis, with little page filler or rehash of psyc 101 concepts (that so many pop-psychology books suffer from)

The focus is on human networks - not entirely online social media as one could be forgiven for assuming - but a thorough review of 'real life' online and political connections between groups of people.

If you're one to read non-fiction to pi
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Jason Carney
Jun 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful book. The thesis is that we are profoundly influenced by our family, friends, and friends of friends (which sounds inane, but it's developed wonderfully), but it also emphasizes how we can influence our family, friends, and friends of friends. This book really makes you question your assumption that you are a free agent, in control of your personal beliefs, your emotional states, your physical health. But it's message is also empowering, to the extent that it amplifies your p ...more
Andy Oram
Mar 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Most of the research in this book has already been widely reported in
the popular press--a sign of its value--but like the phenomena the
authors describe, the book is much greater than the sum of its parts.
The carefully build a view of life from many areas of social science
(while generally admitting that there are alternative ways to
interpret the phenomena) and end up with one of those "big ideas" that
publishers love. I'm quite willing to entertain this big idea: the
ways we informally connect to e
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Michelle
Sep 29, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
very sluggish read despite some very interesting stories and statistics dispersed throughout. it read more like a textbook which immediately turned my mind off. i had to read in small doses. The information learned, I've recounted numerous times yet i would not read again. Perhaps an abbreviated or abstract form would be more desirable; at least for me.
Michael
Oct 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The latest social science and psychology of social networks is delivered in this very readable work by Christakis and Fowler. The authors demonstrate the dynamics and importance of social networks in health, happiness, crime and addictions among many other, often surprising, findings. The implications of these insights for medicine, economics and social policy are huge. Transformative work.
Cathy
Feb 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good read. It reminded me of Teilhard de Chardin's theory about humankind evolving toward the Omega point. I learned a little about the mechanisms of influence among people and the description of political polarization was really good!
Tonkica
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Nista novoga... :-P
Melike Beykoz
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting book discussing how social networks effect our lives.

Some highlights from the book are:

• Our connections – our friends, their friends, and even their friends’ friends influence how we live, think, behave etc.

• Our interconnection is not only a natural and necessary part of our lives but also a force for good.

• Our connections with others effect emotions, sex, health, politics, money, evolution, and technology. And this makes us human. To know who we are, we must understand
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Rossdavidh
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blue
Subtitle: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives. This is a book by those researchers who demonstrated that if your friends get fat, you are more likely to get fat, and if you ditch your fat friends for skinny ones, you will be more likely to get skinny. Also, if your friends get divorced, it makes your marriage more likely to end in divorce, and if most of your friends are not divorced the odds of your marriage staying together are better.

So, you know, fun guys
...more
mahatma
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ini buku bagus. relevan, dan memperlihatkan bahwa kita manusia memang selalu terhubung dengan sesama manusia. dan bukan hanya itu, keterhubungan atau koneksi itu justru sering mengendalikan kita. tradisi, sanksi sosial, ..hingga peran media sosial masa kini memperlihatkan peran penting koneksi ini.
sebagaimana buku amerika, buku ini pun terlalu banyak kata-kata. tapi ya itulah, itu tradisi menulis mereka. kadang menjengkelkan kalau harus melewati halaman-halaman yang dipenuhi contoh-contoh kasus
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Sabrina
I found this book interesting and educational although a bit long in areas (however, not nearly as bad as other non-fiction books). It provides a broad overview of social network theory and focuses heavily on the impact of these theories (i.e. the outcomes of the many studies they discuss) without much discussion of the mathematics and mechanisms that make this happen. I thought it was very accessible, however I would have liked a little more modeling and a little less societal impact to solidif ...more
Alex
Feb 21, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Connected is a clearly written, engaging book based on some seemingly tenuous conclusions about humans' tendencies to form and exist in social networks. It's an interesting read if you want to apply a basic systems thinking approach to our friendships and relationships.
The authors first explore some of the characteristics of networks, particularly the various ways that nodes (an individual in the network) and ties (the connections between two individuals) can be configured to form different vari
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منيرھ عبدالله
The content is alright but the presentation can be boring in some of the chapters.. I wish it was less stories more explaining.
Louise Stahl
Just read the first chapter
Schmacko
Mar 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I’m a bit of a geek for these books. I read this one three times, for both good and bad reasons, which I’ll explain later.

Humans are of course social animals. Almost all of us live in groups large and small; we have our work groups, our social groups, and our families. Connected explores how much of an effect these groups have on us. It looks at our closest family and friends, but it goes further, including friends of friends of friends, pinpointing how these larger meta-groups and intra cult
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Bob Redmond
Written by an MD/PhD and an MD--practicing professors and social scientists--this book examines social networks from numerous points of view: historical, biological, political, technological.

The first two thirds of the book are essentially a summary of studies, focused mainly on showing who affects us (friends of friends, more than friends themselves!), what they effect (sex, wealth, health, and social mores), and the power of those networks to change or reinforce behavior. The last third picks
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Andrew
Jul 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shannon
So while the observation that there are six degrees of separation between any two people applies to how connected we are, the observation that there are three degrees of influence applies to how contagious we are. These properties, connection and contagion, are the structure and function of social networks. They are the anatomy and physiology of the human superorganism. p30

The development of emotions in humans, the display of emotions, and the ability to read the emotions of others helped coordi
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Sherry
Sep 30, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book came out when Facebook was (is?) peaking and many of the references to this book I had read made it sound like the book was an examination of social network sites like Facebook. However, this book is not an examination of social network websites, but social networks in the sociological sense. Considering my passion for sociology, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself reading a straight-up sociology book.

This book is more of a "pop" sociology treatment of the social networks, so it
...more
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  • Networks: An Introduction
  • Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means for Business, Science, and Everyday Life
  • The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart
  • The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion
  • Nexus: Small Worlds and the Groundbreaking Theory of Networks
  • Grouped: How Small Groups of Friends Are the Key to Influence on the Social Web
  • What's Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption
  • The Empathic Civilization: The Race To Global Consciousness In A World In Crisis
  • The Art of Immersion: How the Digital Generation Is Remaking Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and the Way We Tell Stories
  • Wired for Culture: Origins of the Human Social Mind
  • Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age
  • Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth
  • The Culture Code: An Ingenious Way to Understand Why People Around the World Live and Buy as They Do
  • Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?: The Net's Impact on Our Minds and Future (Edge Question Series)
  • Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren't the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room
  • Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide
  • Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software
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Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, is a professor at Harvard University with joint appointments in the Departments of Health Care Policy, Sociology, and Medicine, and in 2009 was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world.

Christakis and Fowler's research has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, Today, and The Colbert Report, and on the front pages of
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More about Nicholas A. Christakis...

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“If we are connected to everyone else by six degrees and we can influence them up to three degrees, then one way to think about ourselves is that each of us can reach about halfway to everyone else on the planet.” 6 likes
“We discovered that if your friend's friend's friend gained weight, you gained weight. We discovered that if your friend's friend's friend stopped smoking, you stopped smoking. And we discovered that if your friend's friend's friend became happy, you became happy.” 1 likes
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