Social networks help smokers quit: new research
New Scientist reports on new research at the Harvard Medical School which suggests that targeting anti-smoking campaigns at social networks, rather than individuals, is a more effective way to reduce smoking rates.
This research re-inforces the surprising power of social networks to strongly influence individual behaviour and suggests that:
"Whole groups of smokers are quitting at once, it's not just isolated individuals blinking out, it's whole interconnected groups simultaneously dropping out……..social pressures could drive deeper cuts in smoking rates, as smokers find they know fewer and fewer people who smoke and eventually quit”.
To read the New Scientist article
To read the original research paper:
The Collective Dynamics of Smoking in a Large Social Network
by Nicholas A. Christakis, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., and James H. Fowler, Ph.D.
Bioteams Books Reviews
The term cyborg is used to designate an organism which is a mixture of organic and synthetic parts so designed to enhance its abilities via technology. William Mitchell a professor at MIT Media Lab believes that through our mobile devices we are all becoming mobile cyborgs and its for the better. In his book Me++: The Cyborg Self and the Networked City which he discusses in an interview with James Harkin Mitchell describes how the new communications technologies have overlaid our city spaces with central nervous systems connecting us into the wireless ether via our mobile devices which act as umbilical cords to anchor us into the information society's digital infrastructure.