The book Connected, written by Christakis, N. A., and Fowler, J. H., (2009) explains the surprising power which is in our social networks and demonstrates how these social networks shape our lives and our friends’ lives affecting everything we feel, think and do. The authors observe the significance of human connections and the effect they of people’s networks on the way activities take place in their own lives. The research covers areas like how the networks can assist people to solve problems. In the book, there are some strengths as well as shortcomings of how psychology contributes to important aspects of social networks.
The book is engaging and also it is insightful. It has succeeded in connecting its content and its audience. All the readers of the book can easily understand since they can experience what is explained in its contents. The book can be said to be illuminating because the authors have managed to draw out the devil in detail and expose some of the bad impacts which can occur as a result of interactions apart from the benefits of socializing. The book has very profound implications of social networking. It also observes the astonishing intricacies that result from human interactions. It tries to demonstrate those good things that result when people interact.
Since the world today is a social place which is exploding with new means of interaction, the book can be described as one of the most beneficial works of the decade. It is a people’s guide which can help them to learn how to interact in the twenty first century. It can well be described as a God’s view of the human social interactions that can make people dizzy. It describes the interaction of people from different fields and careers including teachers, business leaders and parents; they can easily see their lives from the demonstrations given in this book. It is a well written and lively account of the human social interactions and their abilities to shape the lives of people. After reading the book, a person sees the world as smaller and more meaningful since they appreciate the significance of human networks. It shows the chance that all people can take part in one mind philosophy, religion, challenges and the significance of life itself.
The book presents a cogent, enjoyable and clever way of analyzing the latest thinking concerning people in the community. It gives a swath of crucial research certain areas for the readers and creates the urge for people to read. It makes people to view social interactions in an intellectual and easily accessible approach. The authors of the book create a persuasive case which shows how the power of social interactions affects everyone and everything. The book has used science and research to demonstrate how human beings are socially tied together in a particular form or shape. It also shows how our own actions influence other people’s lives and also how the actions of other people influence our own lives. All the people make a ripple affect which is heard and felt up to the ends of the world. After reading the book, one becomes more aware of their actions, and how their positive or negative energy can be passed to another person who is completely strange to them. It tries to show that life is a cycle and thus everything we do comes back to us.
In the current social world, the book can be described as a pop sociology. It comprehensively covers the topic of how human relationships affect health. It shows how relationships can be miserable and affect human health. Towards the end of the book, it talks about the future, trying to guess on what social interactions means will be some time to come. The only shortcoming which can be seen in this part of the book is how the author explains the meaning of internet. The authors do not explain the meaning appropriately thus in ten years time, the description given about the internet may not be valid.
The book is extremely motivating as it offers an intelligible and a readable introduction into studies concerning networks and social interactions. The two authors of the book, Christakis, N. A., and Fowler, J. H are promoters of the social network theory thus it will be difficult to get a critique of the book. A good example of this is because the transposition of the network concepts to social sciences from the natural ones has remained unquestioned despite the fact that there is a century old history of studies which criticize such transpositions. Particularly, the authors did not seem to be correct in describing the social networks as ‘superorganism.’
Another shortcoming is that it has remained unclear where sociology concepts which have been long established such as group and organization appear within the network approach as it has been argued in the book. There are also inconsistencies in the area of people in networks particularly when the book authors introduce the idea of ‘memory’ into the network concept. The book ha however succeeded in giving many examples in support of the network theory. It is therefore highly recommended for those interested in the approaches of social networking.
One of the strengths of this book is that it has heavily relied on the well established scientific research and it offers it in an accessible way that gives complete justice to the topic. The authors are prominent researchers who have done a lot of good work in the area and this helps them with the variety and presentation of topics. The great focus on social networks has been very timely and in the right direction of current explosion of online social networks although the social networks are said to have been there for a long period of time. To some extent, there have been evolutionary theories suggesting that the rise as a species to a large extent has occurred due to the desire to manage large social networks.
The book gives numerous nontrivial and motivating insights into what kinds of social networks are important in particular circumstances and also gives the ones that have the worst effects like in the cases of spreading diseases. A good aspect of this book is the positive attitude towards the significance of religion in the human society. It is not simplistic and offers people useful current insights and means of looking at religion. For example, from a purely social networking point of view, God can be described as a node in the interaction network which is same distance from the other nodes which in this case are the individual believers. This gives us a useful new paradigm that would be very motivating to see the other social researchers use in their reaches and analyses of religion in the future.
The book is good in explaining the world of social network analysis and can be of much help to anyone who wishes to analyze the mechanics of the social networks. It is simple to understand since it does not get very enmeshed with complex explanations which can be very confusing. The authors have carefully mixed the events of social network analyses with well worked case studies and the stories which have been included in every chapter are easy to understand. The other good thing about the book is that it has extensive reference list of books, articles and journals. These resources have been referred to throughout the book offering a good chance of reference materials and also providing good evidence of whatever has been described in the book.
The book creates very motivating assertions based on a selection of creative data and it certainly is significant to think of the links we have daily and the way they may affect our own behavior. The lives of people are made up of relationships and the relationships influence our lives in very meaningful ways. The authors of the book have described how politics, health, daily decisions are affected not only by the friends we know but also by the friends of our friends.
A shortcoming of the book is that they take point in time data and also draw assumptions concerning the influence of friends. For example, in the chapter about obesity and connections, they describe a case where a friend decides to start running and go on diet and then you are influenced to take good care of yourself and end up losing weight. This may be wrong because a person always chooses who his or her friends will be.
In summary, the book has more strengths than shortcomings. It is a collection of brilliant and interesting work about social networking. It is of great help to anyone who wishes to know more about social networking.
Christakis, N. A., & Fowler, J. H. (2009). Connected: The Surprising Power of Our
Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives. New York: Back Bay Books.