Social Media and its Influence on our Behaviour

It is widely known that our physical environment can have a direct influence on our behavior whether that be down to the friends we surround ourselves with, our surroundings, the weather, or the circumstantial events that life is known to throw up. Each will help to mold our personality, character, and thus our behavior in varying degrees.

We already know the impact that social media has had on the relationships that we keep, our shopping habits, and our education but how much of an effect do these platforms themselves have on shaping our behavior?

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Acheter des Followers Twitter and Instagram are primarily used to support relationships that we had originally formed in real-life, though there are of course exceptions to that rule. They are used to keep us connected to groups of people whether they are friends, friends of friends, old classmates, and of course family.

Most people will use Facebook to search for people they have had some form of interaction with in real-life rather than to look for complete strangers to connect with. However, does this seemingly easy way to stay connected have an effect on our own behaviors?

Well, in a book by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler called Connected: The power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives, it is suggested that social media does indeed affect our behavior.

The authors claim that the networks of people that each person is connected with online and even the friends of friends of people in these networks will have an influence on how we behave. They claim that social media offers contagious benefits to groups who feed off of what each other thinks, feels, does, and says.

In the book, it is mentioned that studies showed that if somebody within a network was to become obese, that there was a much higher chance that friends on social media would also become obese while even friends of friends would see an increase in the chances of it happening to them. Smoking was another example used where it was said that friends of somebody who had started smoking would then have more than a 35% increase in the chances of them starting the habit as well.

Our Thoughts

While we ourselves think that the book and the research that it conducted might be a little sensationalist, we do feel that social media does have a big impact on our own behavior. DO we think that obesity will spread like wildfire due to social media, no, but we do think that the actions of our network of friends and their friends outside of that will have some kind of impact on how we ourselves behave.

When you think about in terms of marketing, by simply making a positive online status or post you might just be contagiously spreading that positivity and effecting more people than you might have originally thought.

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