Posted by aynka
This is the first of many posts you will find here in the upcoming weeks. Mostly I will post here my thoughts and findings related to the topics that are central for my studies of digital media and social networks. However, I reserve the right to write here about my travels and other interesting things as well. All the blog posts will be tagged accordingly, so if you are interested in my posts about social networks only, please feel free to use tags or navigation panel in the right column to filter the posts.
This week in class we explored the psychological foundations of social networks. It is important to understand that human social networks ≠ online social networks. The first is a global phenomenon that could be observed even in hunter-gatherer societies; the latter is a specific manifestation of the social networks’ phenomenon that allows us to study human behavior in groups and societies on a whole new level. Online social networks allow researchers to find and visualize the hidden links between people in society and analyze the relations between networks’ members in an unbiased way, based on the digital data provided by platforms.
Social networks have a lot of amazing features and influence our lives in many unexpected ways. Do you know, for example, that your social network (that is, all the people you know and is connected with) is to blame if you are unhappy or have weight problems? On the other hand, without social networks (specifically the networks that are characterized by weak ties and structural holes), there would be no disruptive innovations, as they emerge mainly when people of different backgrounds meet.