How Social Media is Influencing Your Behavior
We all know that everyone is a product of their environment. Circumstantial life events, influences, and surroundings can further change our behavior. Social media already highly influences our shopping, relationships, and education. But how large of a role does networking through social media play into our lives? Maybe more than any of us realize.
Although exceptions exist, research suggests that most social networks primarily support pre-existing social relations. For the most part, Facebook is used to maintain existing offline relationships or solidify offline connections, as opposed to meeting new people. These relationships may be weak ties, but typically there is some common offline element among individuals who friend one another, such as a shared class at school. This is one of the chief dimensions that differentiate social media from earlier forms of public communication such as newsgroups. Research in this vein has investigated how online interactions interface with offline ones. Facebook users engage in “searching” for people with whom they have an offline connection more than they “browse” for complete strangers to meet.
While social networks are often designed to be widely accessible, many attract homogeneous populations initially, so it is not uncommon to find groups using sites to segregate themselves by nationality, age, educational level, or other factors that typically segment society, even if that was not the intention of the developers.
The link between social networks and social epidemics
The relationship between individuals and their networks of people that either directly or indirectly influence their lives. We like to think that we are largely in control of our day-to-day lives, yet most of what we do, from what we eat to who we sleep with, and even the way we feel, is significantly influenced by those around us’ and those around them, and those around them. Our actions can change the...