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Connected: The Surprising POWER of Social Networks & SparkPeople!


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Yesterday's NPR program Science Friday featured an interview with the authors of this FASCINATING new book:

CONNECTED: THE SURPRISING POWER OF SOCIAL NETWORKS AND HOW THEY SHAPE OUR LIVES

www.sciencenews.org/view
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All throughout the radio show and now, looking up reviews about the book I can't help but get SO EXCITED because this is the SCIENCE behind how SparkPeople works! I HIGHLY suspect Chris Downie will be incorporating some of these thoughts into his upcoming book "The Spark":

book.sparkpeople.com

I've pre-ordered two copies of The Spark and hope everyone out there has ordered at least two yourselves...at least ONE extra copy to pass along! :-)

But in the meantime I'm getting so PSYCHED to hear more and more about the POSITIVE and GROWTHFUL POWER that we've built amongst ourselves here at SparkPeople!

Here are some quotes from reviews which, to me has SPARKPEOPLE written all over:

"Connected argues convincingly that itís not enough to understand how individuals behave. The book details examples of how individual behaviors affect other members of a social network. In short, you are your brotherís keeper. And your motherís best friendís brotherís keeper, too."

"Our connections matter much more than the color of our skin or the size of our wallets...When we lose them we lose everything"...and my follow up thought to this is "when we GAIN them we gain EVERYTHING!" Woo hoo!

"This wonderful book by Christakis and Fowler could well be one of the most important works of the decade. In a clear and engaging way, the authors apply their creative and provocative findings on social networks to understanding not only our social relationships but also the forces that shape our world. Full of fascinating stories and examples, this book is essential in understanding our very nature. A must read."

"Margaret Thatcher said there is no such thing as society. Hillary Clinton wrote that it takes a village. In their new book, Christakis and Fowler write, "We don't live in groups, we live in networks," and they back this up with dozens of interconnected stories of research findings by themselves and others, ranging from bank runs to suicide prevention, from nut allergies among schoolchildren to epidemics in virtual worlds, from the spread of happiness to the spread of voting. The combination of speculation and science is fascinating and leaves me eager to learn about the next wave of research in this area." ...and the spread of healthy and well LIFESTYLES! (my addition)

"What makes us human -- for good and bad -- is our social nature. Nowhere is this complex, wonderful, and sometimes dark part of us more clearly revealed than in Connected. In a social world exploding with new ways to interact, Connected is a user's guide for ourselves in the 21st century."

"A God's-eye view of social relationships that may make you dizzy. Every business leader, teacher, and parent should see their life from this vantage."

From Amazon: "Your colleague's husband's sister can make you fat, even if you don't know her. A happy neighbor has more impact on your happiness than a happy spouse. These startling revelations of how much we truly influence one another are revealed in the studies of Drs. Christakis and Fowler, which have repeatedly made front-page news nationwide.

In CONNECTED, the authors explain why emotions are contagious, how health behaviors spread, why the rich get richer, even how we find and choose our partners. Intriguing and entertaining, CONNECTED overturns the notion of the individual and provides a revolutionary paradigm-that social networks influence our ideas, emotions, health, relationships, behavior, politics, and much more. It will change the way we think about every aspect of our lives."

This is the science that explains how we can make each other healthy, happy and fulfilled human beings!!! Which is what we're accomplishing here at SparkPeople!

"I loved this book. Sensitive, aware people perceive on a daily basis that actions, behaviors and emotions impact the lives of those around us, but the science that proves conclusively that your behaviors are impacting mine, my spouse's and friend's in Idaho offers such hope for improvement in the cosmic social network of which we all have our "connectedness". I loved the anecdotal stories - Nicholas and Erika meeting, the Starbucks employee, crazy unstoppable laughter - to which each reader will add additional network stories. We are connected, like it or not, so perhaps we can all start behaving in ways that benefit the entire network. Everyone who reads this will think twice about the impact of cutting someone off in traffic. Dr Christakis and Dr. Fowler have written for the scientific world, NY Times and lay reader - all who are part of the network."

Another reviewer @ Amazon: "As an author, psychotherapist, and teacher, I read a lot of books. Most are read, enjoyed, and soon forgotten. However, occasionally I come across a book that is hard-hitting, informative, and changes the way we understand ourselves, each other, and the world.

Connected is such a book. To give you an idea I usually put little flags on pages with information I think is significant and want to remember. I usually have 10 or 12 little flags in a good book. In this book I have 120 flags and many of the flags have little notes I've written.

For instance, I've flagged this important point: "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."

Why is that important to everyday people? Well, how about because happiness as well as depression can spread along our social networks and make us joyful or sad, or because your future spouse is likely to be your friend's friend, or because your friends' friends' friends can make you fat, or thin.

If you really want to be happy, healthy, wealthy, and wise, I recommend you read Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives."

SparkPeople.com harnesses the power of surrounding ourselves with the healthiest, most positive community which influences you and I in the most positive and healthiest way!

How BLESSED we ARE!

Don
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
KEEPITMOVING 10/2/2009 3:39PM

    awesome blog....love your insights, too! i preordered and am looking forward to cracking the cover, digging in, internalizing everything, and finally having that lightbulb stay on in my head, instead of an on-and-off flicker. i am open, receptive, and willing. i'll go there with you, ok?
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ROYALETBONE 9/26/2009 2:52PM

    Looks like a good read... but sort of 'coals to Newcastle' for us Sparkies. On the other hand... understanding WHY coals work, and how they work, and when they work... can keep us fired up at times when we want to be slackers.
My love books, num, num. I can always use a good referral... or 10. Tee hee.
Thanks!

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JCORYCMA 9/26/2009 12:18PM

    The beauty of SparkPeople is although you are anonymous being on the internet and thus freer to express yourself, the connections you make seem more intimate. I've made some friends that I really care about without the inevitable prejudging that takes place in person. I'd love to meet them in person someday. Maybe go to a SparkPeople convention!! Thanks for sharing with us Don. I always love good book suggestions!
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