Weak ties – S17.4

Read Only Connect, by Pamela Pavliscak, which examines the link between weak ties and strong relationships. The article is an interesting blend of the technical and the social.

I look forward to reading your comments.


About Robert A. Campbell, PhD

Robert A. Campbell, PhD, teaches courses in change management, leadership, and organizational behavior, as part of the MBA program in community economic development, for the Shannon School of Business at Cape Breton University.
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51 Responses to Weak ties – S17.4

  1. Lisa MacDougall says:

    As research suggests, technology does isolate us from each other …ironic when we have never been more technologically connected. FaceTime, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, email, Twitter, texting, even Xbox Live are modes of instant communication. With so many more communication vehicles at our disposal, it would seem that positive, additional contact would result thus strengthening our relationships. Instead, technology has contributed to the disintegration of our traditional social networks and healthy “person to person” communities. Do we still have family dinners, outings with friends, visits with our neighbors? Do we even know our neighbors???
    Texting is a quicker, less committed way to communicate with that someone, eliminating the need for a phone call. Rather than gathering on a corner to hang out, teenagers are gathering on social media, singularly hanging out in their rooms scanning the abundance of Snapchat posts by other teenagers hanging out in their rooms. Kids are more comfortable playing on their online ‘X-box Live’ communities rather than their own neighborhood communities.
    Evidence shows strong social networks are essential to psychological wellbeing. Where does this leave us as a society? I find Facebook valuable to keep in touch with friends and family around the country, indeed the world. I do not appreciate ‘the echo chamber effect’ however and Facebook’s developed algorithm to trend same subject ads or articles because I once read a health related post
    Consequence can be great. We may have a generation that lack social skills and/or even basic coping mechanisms. Because of minimized social interactions, real world experience in dealing with disappointment or difficult situations or difficult people is lacking.
    How much does the social media ‘social comparison’ contribute to the ever growing anxiety of our young people? Anonymous platforms are created for online bullying, sometimes with tragic outcomes. Maybe email and texting should be available to our kids and NOT social media platforms….just a parental thought.
    Some isolated folks may find solace and connection with their online networks. Our online presence may also help expand our access to like-minded people with similar interests.
    The proverbial technology train has left the station. I think it’s incumbent on us as a society to continue to use technology as a social asset but minimize its replacement of social interactions, thus creating and maintaining important strong personal relationships.

    • Bo Jiang(Austin) says:

      I strongly agree with you. you as a parent, of course, yearn for that have a deep connection with your children. But sometimes the technology isolate your children from you. They prefer communicate on some media platform. And a great number of parents are encountering this type of problems. From my own perspective to some extent, it is necessary for the government to create some related law to limit the age of people in the social media. No matter weak ties or strong relationship, the balance is important. Technology as a part of society plays an indispensable role in the human development. People need to find the balance between technology and personal relationships.

      • Lori MacMullin says:

        I think Austin, that both, you and Lisa make very valid points about the disconnect caused by technology and social media particularly. As a parent, I find it interesting to listen to the viewpoints of today’s youth. The “Echo Chamber Effect” of technology is easily seen in this sector. It amazes me how some youth are forming viewpoints that make little sense in the context of today’s society. Is this because social media platforms are feeding them only the types of information they are in tune with? Does social media have a stronger influence on youths viewpoints than parents and family have? I believe this is becoming the case and therefore it explains why these viewpoints are not challenged.

    • Xiaojian Yang says:

      FOMO is talking about the people just like me. I check my phone every five minutes to see what is new in there like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, email, Twitter and WeChat, and feel like I can’t help myself to stop that (Is that terrible? :P). I have such a group of friends and we meet once a week, but whether it is dining or shopping we are kept away from social software. I have to admit that “face to face” communication is the better way to know a person than through words, that technology will never give us those tips to connect to others in spirit.

      • Caroline Holway says:

        “Fear of Missing Out” – Am I the only person that had to ask someone what this acronym stands for? Xiaojian, your description of your phone use seems pretty common in this day and age. I don’t know if this type of behavior is terrible, I doubt it, but thanks for using :P. I had to look that up as well. I’m sure many researchers are studying what you describe, a relatively new phenomenon, from both psychological and sociological perspectives. What fascinates me is the degree to which national culture (collectivist or individualistic) influences people’s FOMO. Are we really different in this respect?

        In this time of accelerated change there is one constant. There are only twenty-four hours in a day. A challenge for many social media users will be how much time to spend on these sites and choosing what gets replaced. I read that a popular online social site in China is Renren Inc., formerly called Xiaonei.com, which reminded me of your name. The number of registered users has grown to over 242 million since it was founded in 2011. This is more than seven times the population of Canada. More and more people will have stories similar to yours.

        I agree, for now, with your premise that “technology will never give us those tips to connect to others in spirit”. But with the integration of forms of visual communication of emotions like emoticon, which serve as a medium to convey a broad set of emotions and vivid expressions, I am reluctant to say never. Currently, face-to-face communication does help us know one another better. In her blog, Pamela Pavliscak refers to research that suggests technology isolates us from each other. One would surmise that those weekly outings with your friend group (network) are strengthening your strong ties.

        “Still – in a way – nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small – we haven’t the time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.” Georgia O’Keeffe

      • ZhengQian Peng says:

        I agree that “face to face” communication is the better way to know a person than through words. there are obviously some negative side of technology. however, we should also not denied that it also make us more connecting in some ways. so, think about how to use these technology is more important than how to avoid them.

    • Weimiao Wang says:

      Using social networking for text, voice, and video communication cannot get the significant feelings of face-to-face communication. In face to face communication, people walk together and chat casually. Topics can range from history to life, from dress to the future. Listen to each other’s voice, look at each other’s subtle changes in the expression, understand each other’s delicate psychological, emotional changes, all these feelings cannot get through social networks. But the across space and locations features of social network’s chat and communication solve the regrets that people can’t meet, such as contacting classmates and friends on social networks during vacations. Therefore, the social network is the subsidiary of face-to-face communication; face-to-face communication should be primarily of human interaction.

      • Yuebin Liu says:

        I agree with you. We need to keep the traditional face-to-face communication. It is the best way to increase our emotion between families and friends. Science and technology make people feel more easier to make a communication. But most of people do not cherish this communication way. Although science and technology make our life more easier and convenient, science and technology always make people feel lonely.

      • Yang Peng says:

        Yes I agree with you because the human senses touch is the network can never be replaced, face to face communication is more like cordial. After all, the network is virtual and we are real.

      • Kieran Hanley says:

        It is interesting to think about where that balance may be achieved, particularly in an office setting. We have also talked in class about the challenges “meetings” pose and the stresses on time they are creating. Technology undoubtedly can help address those problems, where many things can be achieved collectively in remote settings. However, at what stage is the aversion of meetings ‘costing’ a team in terms of the benefits associated with face-to-face interaction?

  2. Bo Jiang(Austin) says:

    The presence of technology, on one hand, brings the conveniences to people’s life. On the other hand, it also poses the negative influences to society. For instance, the technology isolates people from each other. When people stay at outdoor, they pay more attention to the beautiful scenery instead of friends or family.
    The key point is that people need to find the balance between technology and social. Everything is a double edged sword, the development of society needs the support of technology and vice versa. No matter weak ties or strong relationship, connections make people get the sense of happiness. Sometimes, the root of the problem is not the technology and social, but ourselves.

  3. Xiaojian Yang says:

    Technology has accelerated the spread of knowledge and information, making the scope of social capital flows more extensive. But everything has two sides, but the key is how you look at and use it. Weapons are created to protect ourselves or our home, but some people use it to wage a war and aggression. We do not like war, but in fact, every country has never stopped to study and develop new and powerful weapons. However, we should see the technology expands our social circle, shorten the physical social distance. We also become the nodes in different social interactions virtually, linked to each other.

    • LU NIE says:

      We have the similar opinion with this topic. Every thing is good and useful. What we need to do is to adapt it and finger out the best method to use it. Technology really brings people distance feelings. We do not communicate with our families and friends all the time. Sometimes we chat our really thoughts with strangers. It is great!
      And you mentioned every country still keeps learning and developing their knowledge and weapons. It is a good point. Yes, every country and every people are processing. We should advance ourselves now, rather than opposing the technology.

  4. LU NIE says:

    Yes, technology and science really make people feel lonely and some distance feeling from others. Most of us complain less communication with families, friends, and even colleagues. We recall our memories that all children play together and chat with each other. However, from my perspective, I consider that still some positive and advanced influence brought to us by the technology. We can search a huge information, which we can not do before; we can communicate with others who own the similar interests with us, but our friends and families do not; we can even learn some skills from the technology by ourselves, for example, learning dancing, singing, and writing.
    I think we should introspection ourselves. Most people would like to play iPhone the whole day and do not chat with others. Then they complain no body connect with me! We should change our behavior instead of complaining technology.

    • Zhenghan Wang says:

      As for the negative aspect of the development of information technology, such as less connection with families and friends, I think we could consider it positively. We acted that way because we like it. If we pay more attention on online communication than connection with families or friends, it must because the former made us more happy. “The good old days” is the most confusing concept in my opinion.

    • Jian Shen says:

      I do not agree with you. technology make you feel lonely, but it gives you chance to make more friends. The technology development gives people other choices of lifestyle. Not everyone likes to play phone the whole day and do not chat with others. However, some people like to play phone whole day, they have the freedom to choose their lifestyle. The technology development just gives them choice, not forces them to choose.

  5. Liu Chen says:

    With the development of society, science and technology bring many positive impact and convenience for people, for example, the internet can make us talk with our friends, can provide lots of information, emotional support, and other help. In my case, I am not leave my phone, because I need to check my various SNS( social networking services). I cannot control myself to pay attention to their status, although thesis status may be false. Sometimes, the virtual platform of network make people feel high pressure and weary. In social medium, people can add friends without limit, including familiar people, stranger, and one side of the “friends”. These “friends” take initiative to display that they need social support, need to be satisfied from virtual platform. It will result in people feel disappointment and exhaustion for normal social contact. I think there are many bad information can be got by us. It not only effect our lives, also waste our time.

    • Danqi Li says:

      I absolutely agree with you. Sometimes, we cannot control ourselves to focus on the phone although we know it in some aspects influences our social behaviors. As you point out, the virtual platform of network makes people feel high pressure. I think information explosion is also a reflection. Various news and ads have been overwhelming beyond the reach of the individual. Also, unrestricted social interaction whatever the person you know or not may bring serious consequences, such as network trap, online fraud, and stolen privacy violations.

  6. Weimiao Wang says:

    The development of science and technology permeates all aspects of people’s routine life. The emergence and development of social networks break the communication barrier between different region, people, industries, and various activities, greatly expanded people’s view, the speed of access to information, at the same time people express their thoughts and messages, also can let more people know. A social network is a multi person simultaneous communication. A survey shows that social networking sites offer platforms to meet the basic social needs of human beings, but we find that the effect is the opposite of improving the quality of life; it lowers people’s happiness index. The emotional impression of face-to-face communication is compelling, a significant part in the efficient communication. For a person, both the privacy and intimacy of face-to-face communication and social networks are essential.

    • Yue lei says:

      The impact of modern technology on human interaction unfathomable, where modern science and technology mainly refers to the virtual platform, such as WeChat, qq, skype and so on. Human beings in such a technology platform for access to countless convenience, fast delivery information, accurate, content, almost free from time and space constraints, to help people better adapt to modern fast and high capacity of life. But the advantages are often disadvantages, modern virtual platform to block the positive communication between people, can not fully and accurately feel the tone of each other, and even the intention. In the virtual platform, the two people may communicate with each other, may look at different scenery, have a different mood, they were the only exchange is the virtual platform on the text. From this exchange can be obtained in the effective information than the face-to-face communication, can feel the other side of the breathing temperature gestures change, always try to figure out the other heart changes, and even look at the eyes of the pupil changes in the exchange of access to effective information Much less. Although there are now a variety of expressions, but only enough to make up for a very small part of the difficult to obtain information. Modern technology makes human communication convenient, efficient, attractive, elegant at the same time so that the amount of information less, automatically remove the cumbersome information, may make a beautiful human dialogue into a cold machine language, between people A layer of yarn, divided into the soul of the world.

  7. Tingyu Wang says:

    Science and technology also make people no longer polite, while bringing great benefits to society. Some people don’t like language mail, and voice mail has become another “impolite” way to connect with people”. But the first and most important function of the phone is voice calls. There are a lot of people who prefer to chat on smartphones instead of sending text messages, but we notice that this is changing. Some people think that it is impolite to call someone directly if you don’t introduce yourself in a less intimate way. Anonymity brought about by the Internet can be said to be real wealth. Anonymity helps you share sensitive information safely and protect your identity from being leaked. Of course, you can use it to express dissatisfaction and anger. You just need to look at the YouTube video or the comments below. Anonymous allows people the freedom to say if this is sarcastic ridicule, but dare not express their real life content.

    • SHUTONG YU says:

      yes, I agree with you. Nowadays, most of us can not leave these. Especially for student, it concerns assignments, homework, group projects to topics that are educational. A digital space is also a place for these students to collaborate and exchange ideas about educational topics. With social media, the intellectual adventure doesn’t only transpire in classrooms, but also in digital spaces. It can, therefore, be said that social media, can facilitate intellectual transactions among learners outside of the classroom.

  8. Yuebin Liu says:

    Science and technology is a double-edged sword in our life. On the one hand, science and technology make people have a convenient life. For example, we can use our phone to talk with families and friends anywhere and anytime. Also we can enjoy a colorful life by the science and technology. For example, we can take airplane to enjoy a wonderful holiday. On the other hand, science and technology make people feel more and more lonely. That means that most of people connect to their families and friends by the email, wechat or message. Science and technology decrease the face to face time between friends and families. That is really a pity. Under this situation, we need to make a balance between traditional and high-technology. That means we need to keep the traditional way, such as face to face time for our friends and families. At the same time, we also need to develop the science and technology.

  9. SHUTONG YU says:

    Social media was invented and designed with only positive intentions in mind. However, it is the negative uses that are leading/contributing to even worse negative actions. Science and technology are interdependent of each other. Social networking sites has become one part of youth’s life in variety of forms, by considering that today’s culture is oriented by technology. It is possible to imagine any number of ways that these insights could find application for those interested in using social media to promote causes, to engage the stakeholders who are interested in their organizations or missions, and to start or enter social media conversations that matter to them.
    One of the negative effect of social media or networks is it leads to addiction. Spending immeasurable hours on the social sites can deflect the focus and concentration from a particular task. It lowers the motivational level of the people, especially of the teenagers an students. Social networking mainly relies on technology and the internet instead of learning the practical knowledge and expertise of the everyday life. Social networks, unlike the common media, do not have a pattern as to how much information has to be conveyed and where to draw the line. Too much of information may confuse users. Security might be another area of concern where people can get illegal access to a user’s information.

    • Hao Chen says:

      I agree with you, you inspire me a lot in the connection of the technology and human relationship. thanks.

  10. Hao Chen says:

    Technology and human relationship is the biggest paradox in the current world. How to balance them is so challenging. Even technology helps people to connect with each other in the no distance, the range of the technology is still living in the every relationship group. I mean, for instance, Facebook only show some thing which related to the people, in other words, it shrinks the relationship width of human beings. But I think it is the part of strengthening the relationship with people who we want to know or who we might know. It might help people to do better in their professional field.

  11. Zhenghan Wang says:

    On the paradox between less attention and connection with our close friends and relatives and more connections deepened by technology, I think the total amount of connections a person can have with other people are fixed. In the past when there are no internet, people spent most of their connection with their friends and relatives physically close to them. Nevertheless, as the development of information technology, people spare more energy that they used to put on connect with physically closed friends and relatives to the connection with friends in distance.
    About the “weak ties”, I believe they are the best circumstance for the human society in nowadays. Human beings are kind of social animals in some extent, but they cannot bear too close to each other without any privacy, even within circles of friends, or families. Hence, “weak ties” fit the nature of human beings the best.

    • Yuanzuo Huang says:

      An old saying in China is “Distance produces beauty,” which means keeping a certain of distance can make others feel comfortable. Also, we have “personal distance” to remind us keeping the propose distance when we surround others. In consequence, we all need personal privacy, even in the relationship with friends or families. I think it is a reason that people prefer making some virtual friend through social media, they can show the bests of themselves and have a simple conversation about same interests without worrying people know too much personal information about them.

    • Wenyuan Fan says:

      The idea of human being privacy is quite interesting since the weak ties does give people more privacy regarding the face to face communication. On the other hand, this privacy does bring some opportunity for criminals to have access to personal data illegally. It is critical to see the weak ties as a good or bad way of people connection.

  12. Danqi Li says:

    Technology does isolate us from each other but in some aspects we are more connected. Technology that plays the important role in our social life helps people widen the scope of communication and makes communication easier. However, that also weakens our deep communication and ignores face-to-face communication. Absolutely, based on our own experience, we spent most of our time to focus on the screen but ignored the people who really were around us. Because the relationship between people in modern society is established by mail, telephone, message,such as Facebook and Instagram, smart phone thus imperceptibly changes the way people interact and people are more dependent on building and maintaining relationships through smartphones. The reason why more and more people use Internet communication is that it breaks the social rank limit of identity, status, property and breaks the national boundaries and geographical limitations, and ultimately provides a wider and more convenient way of communication for interpersonal communication. Although this interpersonal approach enhances social efficiency, it has negatively affected social relationships. The children complained that their parents were not paying enough attention to them; at the same time, these children rarely concentrate on getting along with each other. Therefore, technology positively and negatively influences our social relationship. In my opinion, the essential reason for the negative effects of technology lies in mankind itself. Because the subject of technology is human and itself cannot be judged as good and evil, the main reason is from people, such as human greed, the using of irrationality, and the defects of human society system. Therefore, to eliminate the disadvantages of technology, in addition to relying on technology itself, people need to create a scientific prevention system through ethical, moral and legal norms to make social relations healthier.

  13. Peng Chen says:

    With the rapid development of modern science and technology, scientific and technological achievements have been applied to social life more and more rapidly, which profoundly affects the way of human existence. With the continuous updating of science and technology, scientific communication, knowledge transfer and scale industrialization, the impact of technology on human life is becoming more and more prominent. Everything has two sides, and technology is also a double-edged sword.Information technology brings benefits to human life.Use the Internet and now technology. We can stay in touch with loved ones as far as we want, and we can stay home to learn about the cultural differences of the world and record our moments with our mobile phone cameras. Technology brings convenience and also has some negative effects.Now people spend more time on computers and mobile phones.Reduced face-to-face communication and communication.It also reduces the time spent with family.There are always two sides to everything, so we should draw on the good side and avoid the bad side.Let technology bring benefits to our lives is more convenient and effective.

    • ruoxi qi says:

      Yes, I understand what you talked about. Also, I am worried about the relationships among people. We enjoy the convenience which technology development has brought to us. But people seem not to realize the change of communication which technology development has brought to us. Probably in the near future, further technology development could help us to change our behaviors. I do not know, but there is one thing I am sure of, which is we need to change the way we use technology like phones from perspective of respect.

  14. Wenyuan Fan says:

    Technology brings a revolution to our life indeed. We save times and energy of traveling all over the world to meet someone for a five minutes talking. Furthermore, due to the fast growth of international business, virtual technology gives us an easy and reliable access to every corner of the world. This is the reason that you can buy rice from Japan, strawberry from California, and talk to your family when you are on the other side of the world. These virtual connections do have disadvantages and make people life more like”nuts”. However, it is vital to balance the virtual life and real life. Meeting real people and get involved into social values creating process is important to identify yourself as a human being. On the other hand, the proper use of virtual technology can expand the life scale much better than a physical one. The exchange of information is the key part of human development and civilization growing.

    • diana3101 says:

      Yes,I agree with you the technology is very important for us. Science and technology on the positive impact of social development, science and technology is indispensable to social development, and its development has greatly improved the ability of human transformation of nature. The development of modern science and technology, making science and technology in the economic and social development of the role of more and more significant. The positive impact of the development of science and technology on society is probably: 1. The development of science and technology has promoted the progress of high technology. The rapid development of high-tech products, high-tech is the development of modern natural science on the basis of the rise. High-tech science and technology become an important indicator of the strength of a country. New technology field development. High-tech research and development are a major driving force in the progress of human society, for the development of society provide favorable conditions. 2. The development of science and technology has further improved the way of human life and the deeper understanding of the universe. First of all, the development of science and technology to improve people’s material and spiritual and cultural living standards. The use of hi-tech products to become an indispensable part of society, people’s basic necessities are closely related to science and technology. Technology products have been gradually applied to all aspects of social life, become an indispensable part of modern human life indispensable. For example: the invention of cars, aircraft, ships and other means of transport, greatly improving the speed of human transport, and then improve the efficiency of the human also feel comfortable and convenient; refrigerators, televisions, washing machines, air conditioners and other high-tech household appliances , To meet the needs of human life, so that human life more comfortable. The development of mobile phones, telephones, and the Internet makes the communication between people and people more convenient and quick. Second, improve the human health level. In the level of science and technology to improve at the same time human medical technology has also been greatly improved, and now most of the medical technology using high-tech products so that some of the previous human problems have a more in-depth understanding of human genetic engineering Increasingly perfect. Human beings with biological genetic engineering and genetic engineering and other high-tech drugs produced by the treatment of many conventional therapies can not treat the difficult diseases and even the past is considered to be unable to treat the incurable disease, improve people’s health.

  15. Yuanzuo Huang says:

    People can both keep the good relationship with close friends and build more connection with acquaintances under the circumstance of highly developed technology. It depends the way that how people use technology and social media. A kind of individuals who play the phone all the time no matter they are having meals or a gathering with people that makes others feel uncomfortable and the distance between them and their family and friends can be larger. One of the reasons of the phenomenon is the new technology is so attractive, and some people are addictive to browse the social media and watching videos or play games. I spent one month in Beijing in this summer, and I found it is interesting a lot of people love watching TV shows or playing online games when they were taking public transportation and getting together with others. In this case, they really didn’t have any connections with people and they also will lose the friend that they current. Another reason is lacking the sense of being respectful when getting together with others. They don’t know have interactions with others when they are having a gathering is a way to show great respects. Thus, putting our electronic devices away and join in the activities can build a stronger relationship with your friends. Also, social media is a useful tool to enlarge social network. Following others, leaving comments, and sharing the same interests build the bridge to know others, the virtual friendship even can become real friendship in reality.

    • shengxin wang says:

      Yes, I totally agree with you. We do have a more convenient life that we had before. We can communicate with friends better but it is of vital importance that we talk less that before. I am not sure that if technology should take all the responsibilities for this change. But it is the right time to change our behaviors.

  16. Yang Peng says:

    Although the convenience of the network and the development of science and technology to reduce the distance between the Earth’s human, the human senses touch is the network can never be replaced, face to face communication is more like cordial, and also in the network, there had full of deception and malicious. After all, some unethical behavior in the network is not subject to legal liability. The communication in the network facilitates exchanges that can not travel across distances, such as international students or immigrants. But I still prefer to face to face communication, so that I can feel the more real feeling of each other’s emotions, whether it is spiritual or physical feelings.

  17. Jian Shen says:

    In my opinion, the benefits of the development of science and technology far greater than the drawbacks. In social relationship factor, we have the opportunity to know the electronic equipment around the world, access to news from around the world news. I can not imagine how the life of these scientists will be lost if they are lost. Some people are complaining about science, we can make friends with people in other countries, but do not know their neighbors. In my opinion, knowing my neighbor is only a result of social restrictions, since your social circle grows greatly, you can choose to spend your own social time with people who are like-minded.

  18. shengxin wang says:

    Although we get a lot of benefits from technology development, it also affects the relationships among people step by step. Sometimes I go out with friends, all of us would play with our phones unconsciously. It is quite common nowadays. But it is clearly that people do not talk with each other like the old times.

  19. shengxin wang says:

    I have to say that it is of vital importance to notice the bad effects of technology development. People do not care and talk with each other anymore. Everyone seems that they can not live without phones. But actually, we can make some changes from every second. We cannot let technology development ruin our lives anymore. I understand that technology development is a must and we do feel convenient than before. But people need to talk more and go back to the lives we had before.

  20. ruoxi qi says:

    After I read this paper, I remember an experience I had before. My friend and I went out for a dinner, but for a long time, we just looked at our phones and did not talk to each other. It is very common that people nowadays become more reliable on phones. Can we live without phones? yes, but we have already get accustomed to the convenience which technology has brought to us. That’s why we do not talk and communicate more like we had before.

    • jiahua yang says:

      I agree with your opinion. Nowadays, most people can not leave cell phone or the computer everyday, even during in the dinner time or something. We have to realive that it is not a good habit to develop the relationship by the high tech. What we have to do is to communicate and talk just like what we used to do. The best way is to talk by face to face.

  21. Kieran Hanley says:

    This article explores the notions of ‘weak ties’ and ‘strong connections’ related to technology, however the ideas are also important from a leadership or management perspective, relating these concepts to people and not just technology. As our journey towards a ‘zero-marginal cost’ society goes on, employees (aka people) continue to be viewed as instruments or as the means to the end. The questions this article poses about technology and its impact on people in their everyday lives – whether that impact be on quality time with others, on ‘being happy’, or on increased communications at the expense of meaningful interaction – are relevant to the workplace and gives clues about how one may approach leading. While email within the office can facilitate speedy communication and documented answers, it is clear that people need ‘more’ than efficiency to be fully effective. One can perhaps manage through email and limited interaction, but it is difficult to lead in this manner. Technology isn’t going anywhere, so the question is how it can be leveraged in different ways to strengthen the connections of these weak ties.

  22. diana3101 says:

    From the article, we can find technology is so important for the people. In today’s society, the impact of modern science and technology on all aspects of society has become increasingly significant and growing. Has entered the era of knowledge economy, science and technology play an increasingly important role. The development of science and technology dominates the development of society. The development of science and technology in society is becoming more and more important, for the survival of human conditions and quality of life has played a difficult role in the alternative, and to promote the rapid economic development and social progress. At the same time, however, mankind is increasingly dependent on technology and the development of science and technology has brought some negative effects to social development, causing serious damage to human life and living environment. Science and technology impact on mankind: scientists invented the computer so that people entered the digital age. The Internet makes the exchange of digital information more efficient and convenient, the development of aviation technology to human into space to deepen the understanding of the universe. The development of modern science and technology has accelerated the development of human society. Science and technology are slowly infiltrated into every corner of human society, human dependence on science and technology is also growing.

  23. jiahua yang says:

    Nowadays, people do not pay much attention on the weak ties. The author recommend us to have a relationship by face to face. We have to admit that most people can not leave cell phone everyday. For example, Once a year, you may send them a holiday message promising to be in touch more often. If you look up their number, they are surprised to hear from you. You have different interests and don’t interact much. You might have kept their business card in case it comes in handy one day.

  24. Lori MacMullin says:

    Technology has allowed us to access information, and people, instantly and it is here to stay. It has allowed us to be more efficient and productive. For example, the internet allows us to communicate with colleagues from all over the world without getting on a plane, saving time, and money. The problem is not technological advancements but the people who are using the technology. For instance, social media has provided platforms, initially intended to connect people, that have become mechanisms for destroying peoples self-confidence and self-worth. People are busy on social media trying to prove to themselves and to the world that they are OK when they are really not. As humans, we tend to compare ourselves to our peers. This social comparison leads to increased self-doubt and unhappiness. Add to that the effect social media has on our viewpoints and thinking process. We are continually fed information consistent with our views and therefore our abilities to think “outside of the box” are becoming more and more limited. Social media bears no responsibility for providing any form of social leadership. On the other hand, users of social media can and should be mindful of others and use social platforms to enhance human relationships positively. Based on the context, social media can be used as a platform to communicate effectively and motivate people to build capacity to make a difference.

    • Yan Xu says:

      I agree with you. It is so true that social media is a platform for people to use. It is the people who are using it decide it is good or bad. From my point of view, most people tend to looked good to in the social media, by posting their lovely, wonderful life. I believe at the very beginning, we just wanted to record our life. However, when we absorb more and more information and discover others’ fancy life, the social comparison begins and start to make us unhappy. It is easy to forget the first reason of using social media. The most important thing is when we realize the problem, we can figure it out. People are the one who control the screen, instead of being controlled.

  25. Yan Xu says:

    As a student, i feel like technology and all kinds of social media help me a lot. I can communicate with my classmate without getting out of my room and gathering information during a short period. There is no denying that it makes my life efficient and effective. However, social media dose take up my time for studying and communicating with people. Some of my friends far away I can only text, and know his/her life by what posted in the social media. Our connection is the phone, I think that why we are holding our phone all the time even we are around people we can actually talk.
    Based on the context, we are looking backward of The problem with the negative narrative, but what we should do is to go forward. Instead of comparing and showing fake information on the social media, there are things we can do to design weak ties. keep ourself staying in touch with what is going on in the wider world. Again, social media is just a tool for people to use, it is us to decide its function.

  26. Yue lei says:

    Weak ties play a stronger role than strong links. In the view of management, companies should pay attention to the role of weak link, because through the weak link, on the one hand, they can get heterogeneous resources, and heterogeneous resources are considered an important source of innovation. On the other hand, through weak links, enterprises can enter a larger social network, which helps enterprises to obtain more valuable information and resources.
    Strong connection these people are mostly and you have a family relationship, and these people as weak connection even better understand you! Why do people have both strong and weak connections? Because strong connections often can not meet the needs of modern social networks! To take the initiative to establish these weak connection! These people is your Hupenggouyou! Because when you have a new idea, when you are often the first to share with them, they will become the most people who know you! Because they often go with them as a circle so many times your thoughts are similar! So it is not difficult to understand why these so-called weak connection of people to help your future bigger!
    For example, I have just graduated to do what they want to do, and these things and the wishes of their parents the opposite! And parents will definitely oppose! And my friends that is weak connection will certainly support! Because your circle is like this, your three views of the same, so it is not difficult to understand the weak connection than the strong connection to you more helpful!

  27. Caroline Holway says:

    I found this article difficult to unpack, maybe because of its varied technical and social aspects. The fragmentation of topics left me wondering how I could relate this back to our course content. We covered networks so that is where I have decided to focus my attention.

    “Call it weak ties or consequential strangers, these loose connections broaden our range.”

    Mark Granovetter introduced the concept of tie strength in a 1973 paper called, “The Strength of Weak Ties.” Weak tie theory of social networks is developed through two hypothesises. First, that strong social ties manifest themselves in a large number of interactions. Second, weak ties, though not as regular, have relevance for the exchange of key information. Empirical studies (Weng et al, 2015), statistics, and anecdotes have been motivated by Granovetter’s work. The immergence of the internet has changed our connections. Social media platforms provide not only opportunities for maintaining strong social connections, they also provide avenues for important information exchange though weak ties.

    People are designing platforms that foster connectivity through free apps like Nextdoor. It is a private social network for your neighborhood. Whether you are looking for a trustworthy, last-minute babysitter, a lost pet, or hearing about recent burglaries, Nextdoor is a way for you to know about what’s going on in your neighborhood. It was designed on the premise that the neighborhood is one of the most important and useful communities in a person’s life. There are many ways our neighbors can help us; Nextdoor is an easy way to connect with them. Nextdoor’s mission is “to provide a trusted platform where neighbors work together to build stronger, safer, happier communities, all over the world.”

    Another app, one that connects visually impaired and blind people via live video connections with sighted helpers from around the world, is Be My Eyes. The founder, Hans Jorgen Wiberg, hopes “that by helping each other as an online community, Be My Eyes will make a big difference in the everyday lives of blind people all over the world.”

    One can see from these examples how weak social ties, while less active, are mediums for the exchange of especially important information. Social ties of different strength play distinct roles in the dynamics of information sharing. Though weak ties do not carry as much communication as strong ties do, designing for weak ties helps bridge between communities. The designs create important channels for novel information which would otherwise be unavailable in close social circles.

    For a variety of reasons, I’m not socially connected through popular social media platforms like Facebook (or have a cell phone for that matter), but I can definitely can see myself connecting with others through apps that encourage opportunities for helping others in unique ways.

  28. ZhengQian Peng says:

    Of course, while technology brings us benefits, it also brought some negative sides. So much ink has been spent on people spend too much on telephone and other technology devices and make people disconnect with each other. But this article pointed out a good idea that is technology mediates our relationships with other people. It’s time to shift our focus from only the negative impact of technology toward the positive. Rather than requiring a retreat from technology to sustain relationships, let’s design better ways to support our social selves. It is true, we cannot denied that people take too much time on technology that has a negative side on human relationship. But we should not ignore the positive part of technology make us more connecting with each other. We should not ban the technology, instead, we should think about how to use these technology to make us more connecting.

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