Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been traveling throughout the U.S. as he challenges himself to visit every state he hasn’t spent time in, so that he can adopt a “broader perspective” of American society.
On Sunday he posted a long explanation about the insights he’s learned from his recent travels and interactions with disenfranchised youth, including juvenile delinquents and drug abusers. Some have speculated that he may be doing this as a prelude to running for president, so he set the record straight.
“Some of you have asked if this challenge means I’m running for public office. I’m not,” he stated, adding, “I’m doing it to get a broader perspective to make sure we’re best serving our community of almost 2 billion people at Facebook and doing the best work to promote equal opportunity at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.”
He says he’s learned some important lessons as he follows through with his challenge, the most important of which is how relationships can make our lives much better… or much worse.
“In many ways, relationships are the most important things in our lives,” he wrote, “whether we’re trying to form healthy habits, stay out of trouble, or find better opportunities. And yet, research shows the average American has fewer than three close friends we can turn to for support.”
He noted, “My biggest takeaway so far is that our relationships shape us more than we think — how we consider opportunities, how we process information, and how we form habits. There is a lot of discussion about inequality, but one under-looked dimension of inequality is in the makeup of our social networks.”
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