The strength of Weak Ties

In an era where everyone seems to be connected by social networks, it is often times difficult to tell whether a person is a “good friend” or just an “acquaintance”. Most of the times we usually have only a very few close friends and the rest are people we know through our very good friends. Granovetter states that if person A and B are good friends and hang out a lot, then presumably they both have more or less the same information while a person three let’s say C, who is only an acquaintance of A & B, might have information that is new to A and B. Let’s assume A wants to find a job and so he asks B for any new job openings, but since A and B are good friends and they are probably connected through a similar interest or subject, B, would have the same information as A. Then comes into play the role of C as a bridge; as C is not closely connected to A or B, they don’t know all the people that C knows and therefore, C might be able to provide new information to A due to which A might get a job opportunity unknown to both A and B. This is why job seekers are more likely to find job opportunities through weak ties rather than strong ones. This is why having a million friends does not guarantee you a job, but having a million acquaintances would probably be better.

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2 thoughts on “The strength of Weak Ties

  1. Although, even close friends can have seperate social circles. Close friends can be useful for getting jobs, I got mine off my best friend, who quit. I then got another of our friends a job at the same place, then they got another of our friends a job. And I got another friend (of the same circle) a job, and then got my brother a job. Baring in mind its a tiny cafe so our friendship circle made up most of the workforce 🙂

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