Connected: The Surprising Power of Our (Real Life) Social Networks

From laughter epidemics to suicide cascades to the socially contagious spread of obesity, I present intriguing evidence to show that our real life social networks drive and shape virtually every aspect of our lives. How we feel, whom we marry, whether we fall ill, how much money we make, and whether we vote all depend on what others around us—even those distantly connected to us—are doing, thinking, and feeling. I show that these connections have an ancient evolutionary past, and describe how this will affect our new life as technology moves our social networks online.