Humans are by nature social animals. We cannot live alone and must satisfy certain natural basic needs to survive. We have to enter into relationships with our fellowmen for living a life. No person can break the shackles of mutual dependence. As a result, we interact with different people at different stages of our lives. Be it our family at home, teachers and other students in schools and colleges, colleagues from work or other acquaintances, we interact differently with different people in our lives. There have been several studies conducted on human behaviour to better understand network thinking. This has led to the emergence of a discipline named sociology.
Sociology can be defined as the science of society with various areas of specialisation. It covers everything: the science of social institutions, the science of social relationships, the science of social phenomena, the study of systems of social action and their inter-relations, and so on. It is called a science because the research is based on actual experiments and experiences and not just theories.
According to Brooke Foucault Welles, an assistant professor of Communication Studies in the College of Arts, Media and Design at the Northeastern University, people can’t always recall everyone they interact with and everything they know about them. As a result, we cannot access valuable resources hidden in plain sight. Today’s world runs on connections and it is vital to activate our networks. For example, a colleague may have a family member working in the real estate sector. Such a connection could be very useful in case one is looking to buy a new house. Professor Foucault Welles has highlighted the importance of such an approach and termed it as network thinking. Network thinking has the potential of opening up several new opportunities in our lives that may have otherwise remained hidden to us.