Friendship paradox

MIT Technology Review has an interesting article First Evidence for the Happiness Paradox—That Your Friends Are Happier than You Are:

The friendship paradox is the idea that your friends have more friends than you do, which turns out to be true for most people… The fact that people’s friends are more popular than they are may also explain another observation for which there is growing evidence—that excessive use of social networks makes people less happy. It’s easy to imagine that knowing that they are less popular than their friends makes people less happy. This has led to widespread speculation that the distribution of happiness throughout a social network might also lead to a happiness paradox. If happiness correlates with popularity—the being popular makes people happy—then this could be true too.

The source paper is The Happiness Paradox: Your Friends Are Happier Than You.

Malcolm Gladwell in Tipping Point talked about a type of person he called a Connector who influences new ideas through the association with great numbers of people. (Personally, I am a Maven who operates through talking about ideas and information.) I can see how a Maven like I am (and also an introvert and shy) could be intimidated or jealous of the size of Connector social networks.

My father knew tons and tons of people. Going out to eat at a restaurant required budgeting half to a full hour to leave because he’d have to talk to several tables with people who wanted to tell or ask him something. This was especially true when he occupied the director position of a city hall department.

It is interesting they are using Twitter social networks to measure size and tying tweet content to positivity / negativity.


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