3. How we’re connected influences us

The structure of our social network

We are born into a network

We are born into relationships: our parents, our family, their friends. Our social network is made up of all the people we’re connected to, all the people they are connected to, all the people they are connected to, and so on.

As we grow older, we develop our own relationships, which change throughout our lives. We become closer to some people, we lose touch with others. We can largely control who we are connected to—we can decide who to spend time with, and when to invest in building a relationship. We can also control how interconnected our friends are by deciding whether to introduce them to one another.

We can largely control how central we ...

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