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On social media it seems like everyone around me is more popular than what I am. Thankfully, as a mathematician, I know what the reason is and that it is not because of me! It is a mathematical statement: the friendship paradox!

This paradox states that your friends have on average more friends that what you do! This is rather conforting for my self image, but there is more to it. The friendship paradox can help us prevent the spreading of a disease!

But how does this exactly work? In the following animation, developed by Bruno van Wayenburg, we explain how this works!

For some additional thoughts and information on this topic you can also have a look at this article! This post is a translation of the original post (Vaccineren of concurreren) from my blog in NEMO Kennislink.