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Social Networking and Happiness

A large social network that can connect you to your future job or internship may be deemed as practical. However, some people may not realize that the convenience of having a large group of friends may also make you feel happier. According to the research that was published by the British Medical Journal that drew data from a 4,739 network, one may feel happy because of a friend of a friend’s friend. This third degree separated connection shows that the social network may be beneficial psychologically for anyone in a social network.

Online platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter can increase someone’s chance of being happy. Researchers have found in the study that happiness and sadness are spread through the social network constantly, but at different rates. According to the study, one is 15 percent more likely to be happy if a direct friend is happy, 10 percent if the friend’s friend is happy, and six percent if a friend of the friend’s friend is happy. So the more connections one has, the more likely it is that one can be happy.

There are many other health related issues that are being conducted, such as obesity and smoking, within the social network. An interesting new approach to the study would be conducting the research on offline social platforms. Daily interactions and connections should also be part of the social network that research is conducted in.

This topic relates to back to the course in terms of the social network and the node-to-node connection that happiness may spread through. The strong triadic closure principle and property of structural balance relationships may be useful in not only suggesting connections but also in connecting others to happiness. If two nodes that are connected to a third node are feeling happy, then the third node may be feeling happy because the strong triadic closure. The social network not only allows flow of information, but may also be a platform for happiness to spread.


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September 2014