Networks are all around us. It has been said that the ‘Network’ is the paradigm of the modern age. Yet networks have been around since things have been connected to one another – I don’t really want to take a guess on when that was. Now in an increasingly hyper-connected world, the networks of which we are a part, have an ever increasing influence on our lives.
So, in what ways do our networks shape us?
1.) They influence the INFORMATION we are exposed to.
We all have limited time – the networks we are a part of will impact on the information that reaches you. This is particularly important when we consider our ‘information diet‘. Is your information diet balanced and healthy? Or are you consuming too much of information’s ‘fast food’ equivalent?
2.) They determine the OPPORTUNITIES we are exposed to.
3.) They influence the PEOPLE we meet and whom we associate
People are undoubtedly very important. It is important to remember that relationships are the foundations of much of life. The groups and networks we are a part of have a big impact on the people we spend time with. Not only does it impact on the people we already know, but it also impacts on the people we are likely to meet. The people we know have surprising influences on us, as can be seen below.
3.) They influence the IDEAS we have…
‘Ideas are networks’ is Steven Johnson’s claim in his great TED talk on ‘Where good ideas come from‘. Ideas and innovations often arise from exposure to other ideas. New inventions are often existing technologies, combined in new ways. A great way to increase the ideas you have is to shape the ideas and information you are exposed to, and the people you spend time with. As previously discussed, the networks of which you are a part, have a significant impact on both of these. Our networks influence the ideas we have…