How Using Social Networks Affects Your Health

A recent study indicates social networks such as Facebook and Twitter can effect health behaviors in humans.

Article written by guest writer Rin Mitchell

What’s the Latest Development?

Researchers at the University of Southern California believe that social networks have the ability to sway health behavior in humans. According to researchers, understanding the way humans interact—whether it is in person or online—could help to prevent disease and promote general health. The social structure of a network group can play a vital role in curbing bad health habits and lowering the number of sexually transmitted diseases. The research “focuses on social networks and influence, has compiled a collection of methods that public health advocates use to stimulate changes in behavior and explains why certain methods may be more effective than others in particular situations.”

What’s the Big Idea?

An analysis by researchers at Kreck School of Medicine of USC examines how social networks have the ability to influence human health behaviors. Researchers have designed different interventions for different groups that exhibit different risks—in order to obtain a better understanding of how social networks can be so influential. The research is still new and researchers will now need to look at and compare different networks and intervention methods to see which “are optimal under what circumstances.” Behavioral research is frequently used in other arenas such as marketing and business, but it has recently begun to be used in the public health sector. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter "have made it easier to collect data and spread information." 

Photo credit:

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Why 'upgrading' humanity is a transhumanist myth

Upload your mind? Here's a reality check on the Singularity.

  • Though computer engineers claim to know what human consciousness is, many neuroscientists say that we're nowhere close to understanding what it is, or its source.
  • Scientists are currently trying to upload human minds to silicon chips, or re-create consciousness with algorithms, but this may be hubristic because we still know so little about what it means to be human.
  • Is transhumanism a journey forward or an escape from reality?
Keep reading Show less

Steven Pinker's 13 rules for writing better

The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 21: Steven Pinker speaks onstage during OZY Fest 2018 at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on July 21, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Ozy Media)
Personal Growth
  • Steven Pinker is many things: linguist, psychologist, optimist, Harvard professor, and author.
  • When it comes to writing, he's a student and a teacher.
  • Here's are his 13 rules for writing better, more simply, and more clearly.
Keep reading Show less

Dead – yes, dead – tardigrade found beneath Antarctica

A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.

(Goldstein Lab/Wkikpedia/Tigerspaws/Big Think)
Surprising Science
  • Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
  • The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
  • Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
Keep reading Show less