From the department of everything's related to everything and the seemingly endless findings stemming from the Framingham Heart Study, here's yet another research study proving that networks carry a lot of strange viruses. According to the study, you're much more likely to divorce if a friend divorces (75% more likely) and somewhat more likely (33%) if a friend of a friend divorces.
I'm not making this up. See this article by Rick Morin on the Pew Center site.
Here's the graphic from a new study by Brown University's Rose McDermott and stalwart network-contagion researchers James Fowler and Nicholas Christakis. Its title tells the story: "Breaking Up is Hard to Do, Unless Everyone Else Is Doing It Too: Social Network Effects of Divorce in a Longitudinal Sample."
I draw two conclusions from this: one, get rid of all your friends; and two, don't live in Framingham, which is where many of these studies have been done. You might have a heart attack, smoke, gain weight, and, now get divorced.
(No, no...I greatly admire Christakis et al. Terrific insights into the "stremgth of all ties" -- I just made that up.)