Sunday, November 28, 2010


Click: The Magic of Instant Connections

Know your audience. This book tries to be a lot of things to a lot of people, and never quite succeeds. If you do persevere through the book, you will be rewarded by some nuggets of useful information.

You really have to get past the opening. The authors seem almost determinedly intent on putting off the reader at the beginning itself, when they talk about attraction between people in a romantic, life-partner, chance-rendezvous turning into a romantic affair manner, and almost set the narrative in this context. This is not what the book is quite about. There seems to be a lot of useful material on how people communicate with each other, empathize with each other, and how bonds of trust can be made to grow when people interact. The more you know this the better the chances that you can turn speaking with people into something that's more productive.

We all know what we mean when we or someone says "we clicked", so do we have to define it as "... an immediate, deep, and meaningful connection with another person or with the world around us."? And "click accelerators", "quick set intimacy"??? In the modern day and age of casual relationships, do we really need more information and tips on how to form relationships with the seeming click of a finger? Well, the authors tell you how to do just that. By telling us that there are five click accelerators.
1. Vulnerability
2. Proximity
3. Resonance
4. Similarity
5. Safe Place

The way these click accelerators are described seem very awfully close to the methods employed by cultists to attract and then retain members into their cults. Not a very wholesome comparison.

A lot of research is thrown our way, but almost all of it has to do with experiments conducted by psychologists. Not much by way of academically accepted theories that can credibly explain why we behave.

Sorry, but this book just didn't click for me.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion still remains the best book on this topic, on how to influence people. Read that book instead, or re-read it.

© 2010, Abhinav Agarwal. All rights reserved.