The Whole World Smiles with You!

Facebook Connections

Facebook Connections Worldwide

Obviously you cannot literally get the whole world to smile when you smile, but the concept brought up in this song, which was made famous by Louis Armstrong, may not be too far off-base.

Consider a study using data from the Framingham Heart Study that has been studied by the writers of Connected; The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives.

The Framingham social network reveals that drinking behavior clusters to three degrees of separation, as do smoking and obesity.

The idea that our social networks may influence the norms and/or behaviors of our selves (and those we are connected to) has great implications.  The core thesis of the book focuses on the three degrees to which you may directly influence the behaviors of those you know and the writers lay out a number of case-studies that help to illustrate just how much influence you may have in your friends’ and families’ lives.  While the image above (a visual map of the connections between Facebook’s 100 Million users worldwide – click the image to learn more) may include many, many lines, chances are that in this hyper-connected world you may actually only be a number of hops away from any other single individual.  If we have the capacity to influence up to three degrees, and those three degrees significantly change another individual’s behavior, and then also influence their three degrees, your power to influence the world through a smile becomes contagious.

Ryan Lucas
Supervisor of Marketing