Although I don’t consider myself an “active” reader, I do enjoy picking up a book every once and a while. So I’m thankful for the suggestions (well, assignments) that my professor assigns for us to read. In other words, I often forget to give myself time to pause reality and just enjoy a good book. I especially enjoy books that I can apply to my life and that force my mind to think and analyze a different world. That is exactly what Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point encouraged me to do.
Malcolm Gladwell is the author of several books. The Tipping Point was the first book of his that I was able to read and I genuinely enjoyed it. But not only I, my current roommate saw it lying on my bed and began explaining to me how incredible of a read it was. She mentioned how it really puts things into perspective and gets you thinking hard about how important the matter of point of view really is. She clearly read the book before I did and she was really satisfied seeing that Gladwell’s work is still being picked up.
The Tipping Point was a great read that engaged me from the beginning. In it, Gladwell analyzes and proposes a theory about how multiple life-factors make life what it is today. Some of those factors included fashion trends, crime rates, the transformation of books into bestsellers, the spreading of viruses, the rise of teenage smoking, and so many other things that all-together, make our everyday life. He mentions the idea that ideas and trends spread like epidemics, which is absolutely true. Gladwell uses examples from history to support this theory, which really helped me understand what he was trying to explain.
I really liked that the book focused on the idea that the smallest and practically irrelevant things can create a a huge trend that sparks in popularity. And that is the “tipping point” part. Gladwell uses three main concepts to help explain how tipping points work; the law of the few, the stickiness factor, and the power of context. Like an epidemic, he concludes that trends and ideas are spread through a few highly infectious or influential individuals to more and more individuals and then an entire generation. His point is incredibly eye-opening and absolutely accurate.
Gladwell further explains that it’s the stickiness factor that causes tipping points and trends. That’s when a product is really addictive or “sticky” and how that leads to it being a trend. It becomes something that people are attracted too, the more it spreads. Another one of his concepts includes the importance of context. Gladwell explains that a persons current situation also affects their choices to follow trends or their perception of whatever it is that is growing in popularity. I found this also accurate and different for each individual. But although we are all different, and in different situations, with varying circumstances, I feel that the stickiness of trends or things that become popular usually overcome people’s situations. He gave the example of how cleaning up graffiti can affect crime in an area, but I feel that if you’re a criminal, you will be a criminal no matter the surroundings.
Overall, The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell made me take a second look at society, our generation, and how people attach to popular ideas. The Tipping Point is very well written and definitely adds perspective to life. After reading the book, I am encouraged to be my own person and to only choose what I really think I will genuinely enjoy. I definitely recommend others to read this if they have time. It’s altered my point of view in a very positive way.