In Jonah Berger’s new book, Invisible Influence,

he says: “99.9% of all decisions are shaped by others. It’s hard to find  a decision or behavior that isn’t affected by other people.”

jonah berger invisible influenceBerger’s claim is we do not see how we are influenced by others. In multiple studies including Asch’s line length study in 1951, people choose the wrong answer because of groupthink, because everyone else did. I am interested in influence and the impact of social media on our choices. Multiple experiments say that the power of conforming is strong enough to select the wrong answer, “when the answer is clear, people still imitate others.” It is shocking but true that people will deny their reality to fit in with the group.

Berger’s questions include:

When do we imitate others and when do we avoid what they are doing? When do peers motivate us to work harder and when do they drive us to give up? And what does all this mean for happiness, health, success, both at home and at work?

What do we imitate?  I agree with Berger people are overwhelmed for choice and “knowing others like something also encourages people to give it the benefit of the doubt. If that many people bought it, it must be good.” If someone famous is involved in a project, it often does better. If a television star is involved, we may be more likely to buy it or follow it or watch it.

“Even without us realizing it, other people are constantly influence what we think, buy and do. But does social influence go even further? Could it influence how hard we’re driven to achieve? Whether we’re motivated to work harder or give up and quit?”

I know I am motivated by other people’s success. When I can see that someone else has figured it out, I know it is possible. It might be a long shot but I can start to see the steps to make something happen. I believe as Berger states: “peers don’t just affect what we choose, they motivate us to action. Others make us bike faster, save more energy and turn losing into winning.”

I meet many people who want to work with me or be introduced to someone else. Recently, I was able to introduce a former student of mine from Nickelodeon to a Buzzfeed personality. They had both said, if they did not have their dream job, they would want the other person’s job. I knew that they had to meet!

Michelle Khare Brec Bassinger Lisa Niver
Michelle Khare, Brec Bassinger, Lisa Niver at Buzzfeed

Michelle Khare and Brec Bassinger are finding their way in television, video and the Wild Wild West of the Internet. After I introduced them, Khare created a project at Buzzfeed for Bassinger and the video has been wildly successful!

Video: 1 Woman + 4 Nickelodeon Cartoon Characters

When we work together without conforming, magic can happen. I created my We Said Go Travel Writing Award after seeing the 30th International Sand Art Competition in Konark, India. I believe that the first time someone suggested the competition, everyone else said, “that will never work.” That is what most people told me about We Said Go Travel–it will never work. But 10 awards later, I have published 1700 writers from 75 countries. 

I believe I am influenced by others and I want to make sure I imitate those who can lead me in the direction of my dreams. I even made my own video of our day at Buzzfeed. I wonder what will happen next?

VideoFilming at Buzzfeed with Brec Bassinger & Michelle Khare May 2016

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. You can find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over 1.3 million views on her YouTube channel. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed an Olympic swimmer and numerous bestselling authors and has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. She was named both a Top 10 Travel Influencer and a Top 50 Female Influencer for 2021 by Afluencer and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. She has been nominated for the inaugural Forbes 50 over 50/Know Your Value list due out in Summer 2021. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best and has more than 150,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and has also run 15 travel competitions publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on We Said Go Travel. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded two Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards. From 2017 to 2021 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won four times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won in 2021 as Book Critic and in 2019 for one of her KTLA TV segments NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards and a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal. Niver has written for National Geographic, USA Today 10best, TODAY, Teen Vogue, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave(ish): It's All About Perspective 50 Adventures Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. When she's not SCUBA diving or in her art studio making ceramics, she's helping people find their next dream trip.

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We Said Go Travel

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