Everything’s social (including giving up smoking)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2008 in Uncategorized | 4 Comments


Pic c/o Hulton-Deutsch collection

Hat tip to Daria via twitter

Nice to see the New Scientist catching up with us…!

While the article is quite a good compendium of recent studies on different aspects of human behaviour shaped primarily at least by social influence, it's title is slightly misleading: it's not just that […]your friends' friends can affect your mood" but they affect most of what you do…

Unfortunately the article still contains some dodgy ideas about "networks" being rigid, unchanging things or things spreading rather than being pulled through human society but it's well worth a re-read.

Is it just me or does the the moral ring curiously old-fashioned to me ( I guess it's written from the arch individualist's perspective and not my mother's):

"We will always be vulnerable to what those around us are doing, so as
far as possible make sure you are with the right people"

[For those planning to quit smoking tomorrow night, it's nice to know that smoking is socially influenced behaviour – we are all "social smokers": it's not just a problem with an individual's physical addiction, weakness of will or even the power of the weed itself]

Just acknowledging this is true about the behaviour you're trying to change in 09 would be a good way to start. Not doing so, is – at best – missing a major opportunity.

Why not make this your New Year Resolution? At work and at home?

Like the man say:

"…We are who we hang out with"


  1. John Dodds
    December 31, 2008

    If we are who we hang out with, then I’m in serious trouble. Happy new year.

  2. dino
    January 4, 2009

    my folks would always repeat this greek adage to me, “show me who your friends are and i will tell you who you are”.

  3. order fioricet
    October 9, 2009

    motivate yourself to stop smoking. If you really want to stop smoking, it will start now and not tomorrow.

  4. viagra online
    May 19, 2010

    I have an addiction that I can not leave: I am a social smoker. I believe smoking is socially worse than it frequently. It happens that active smokers have an addiction that can be left standing with a strong mentalization. By contrast, social smoker makes it more difficult, because there are situations where hate and nicotine does not understand how there are those moments where I really enjoy it and more, the need.