How We Benefit from Social Networks

We now live with humongous online social networks, but human beings have always had them — in fact, it is one of the very things that defines being “human.” Or so says a book I just finished, which is a must read for understanding the power that social networks have, and actually have had since the beginnings of human history — entitled Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives.

I was hoping that this book would help me understand how I might better use my Facebook page, but it goes much, much deeper than that. This book provides a magnificent explanation of how central and important our connections to others have always been, going back to the tribal. In addition, the authors posit that our need to be so connected in part explains our need for such a big brain.

It’s fascinating to understand how our tastes, our habits and our decisions are influenced by people we’ve never met, but this book explains how that works — how if a friend of a friend starts drinking or stops smoking that can affect you. They’ve proven it with amazing analysis of extensive social network data. Such is the power of social networks. My favorite quote that the book cites is by Erik Hoffer, which goes “When people are given the freedom to do as they choose, they usually imitate each other.” Ain’t that the truth!

This book is going to help me be more mindful of this living “super-organism” — the social network — how it supports me and how I can use it to support myself and others altruistically.

Do you have any ideas on how a divination site like — where millions of people access divination systems every week — could provide more connections for people? What might that look like?