Social Contagion

On November 2, 2010, Facebook put out a “get out the vote” message

Feeling sick? You may blame germs. Did you vote last election? You may blame your Facebook friends. The New York Times published an article last week about a new Social Contagion study that found that Facebook friends have a statistically significant influence on your voting. The researchers randomly selected two groups of Facebook users. One group upon logging into Facebook was shown pictures of their friends who had voted and the other control group did not. Turns out that the experiment proved that the first group was more likely to vote on election day than the control group. Soon mothers will say, “choose your Facebook friends carefully.”

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2 thoughts on “Social Contagion

  1. As someone who uses Facebook very rarely, I can see this happening to friends around me. I get on maybe once a week, but friends are always saying “Did you see this on facebook?” or they are amazed when I don’t know about so-and-so’s vacation. I can see the way these ideas and feelings spread through the users of Facebook. I don’t think I’m missing out at all though, even though the infected ones may think of me as an outcast. I still get the important news from my quick visits, but my life isn’t wrapped up in the lives of others.

    PS: I’m feeling sick now because of germs, so your article caught my attention!

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