In 1973, Mark S. Granovetter was one of the first to demonstrate that opportunities come to us not just through our close friends, but often through weak ties with people we don’t know well but whose social networks overlap our own. Fast forward more than 30 years, and Christakis and Fowler use social data to show that people two or three connections away from us can have very important impacts on our lifestyle, emotions, and behavioral choices.
We are members of the Sandwich Generation, providing advice and support to both our children and our parents. For our children, we can draw on memory to understand what they’re going through. But for our parents, memory doesn’t serve. We’ve never experienced what they’re experiencing. Informed imagination has to take over.