Two year old children are more socially aware and adept than adult apes. That’s the conclusion of new research that has for the first time compared apes and human children on the same social task.
The study shows that we are much more social than our biological cousins, who are renowned for their social abilities inside the animal kingdom. So, not much of a surprise perhaps – but the crucial point here is that two year old human children were more capable socially than adult apes, with a lifetime of learning and experience behind them.
This unique research has confirmed that we are uniquely social and that we are clearly focused from a very early age on social activities. So anyone who tells you that social networking is a passing fad is clearly not considering things properly. Today, for instance, I was told that British business is losing over £120m a day in productivity “thanks” to Facebook. The “researchers” had added up the hours which UK people spent on Facebook and then multiplied it by the average hour of business running costs in Britain to come up with their figure.
Whilst it makes an interesting discussion point, the “analysis” is clearly weak and misses the point – that many of those “lost” hours on Facebook were probably spent in productive discussion anyway. How do I know that? Because we now have confirmed that we are truly, truly social in our very essence from a young age. Facebook and the like, are social and therefore we are able to work better with them than the non social aspects of the Internet.
In fact, just how many billions of dollars and pounds are lost to business when people are “Googling” for something only to find that the search results they get are not what they want. If you want someone to blame for lost hours of productivity, look to the search engines whose results are far from perfect. Oh and guess what – their results are not produced socially….no wonder they don’t work for us.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+