Strong versus Weak Ties

In this Little Boxes, Glocalization and Networked Individualism by Barry Wellman

Much thinking about digital cities is in terms of community groups. Yet, the world is composed of social networks and not of groups. This paper traces how communities have changed from densely-knit “Little Boxes” (densely-knit, linking people door-to-door) to “Glocalized” networks (sparselyknit but with clusters, linking households both locally and globally) to “Networked Individualism” (sparsely -knit, linking individuals with little regard to space). The transformation affects design considerations for computer systems that would support digital cities.

Are strong ties losing favour to weak ties for individuals (educators and learners)?
Let’s see.  My reflections
Strong versus weak ties
How many of us have strong connections (or ties) with our colleagues, our immediate supervisors or family members, relatives? 
Do we share our inner feelings and emotions (level 3 and 4, the deep ones) with them?
Do we trust them?
Do we comment and criticise them? 
Do we judge them in a fair way?

Have you got polarised answers?  Why?

Why do people prefer weak ties to strong ties?

– Could establish “trust” and friendship with someone at a private level (i.e. with those who are not close at work or family)

– Protect ones privacy and identity

– Hold ones integrity

– Less conflict

– More willing to share due to openness

– Become more confident in establishing relationships

– Wider connections – gain insights from diverse perspectives and learning from different domains

– A “test of uncharted waters” – could try different networks, connections

– Failure to connect or interact doesn’t harm that much, could try again

– Have dream “partners”, “co-learners”, “professors” or “instructors”…

Are there any implications with this strong versus weak ties?

Limitations with staying on with strong ties (work place, strong groups or communities)

– Learning with your peers, colleagues and supervisor or family members is limited to that of your family group, section, organisation, and sometimes within the same domain, the closed little box

– Group think – everybody tries to conform to the rules, and please others to create harmony.  Complacency follows. 

– Wrong decisions – finger pointing, poor communication, poor judgment, misinterpretation of patterns

– Waiting to be directed at work or at home, especially when one is under an autocratic “leadership” environment. Why border? Lack of initiative. Lack of innovation. Low self esteem, confidence and motivation to learn.

– Dare not share the beliefs with others.  Poor trust and respect on each others resulting from conflicts. Poor relationships follow

– Competition rather than collaboration.  Lose – Lose becomes the way

– Politics, control, gossiping, destructive comments and criticisms poison the ties.

Merits with strong ties

– Learning with your strong connections could more easily establish professional “friendship” and “respect”

– A team approach towards problem solving. Team building leading to even stronger ties.

– Common vision and missions.  Gearing of strategies towards vision and missions. 

– Adoption of a pragmatic approach in collaboration. 

– Win-Win, if the team develops positively towards “Best Practice”. Continuous improvement and innovation.

What are your experiences?


Have your dream come true?

Enjoy this Never had a dream come true.
What message did you get from this video?
For me, love.
I love to learn, and share.
Is this the basis of all connections?
In second life, we could all have our dreams come true. I mean true second life, where you could relive what you haven’t done before, love the ones you dream of loving.
This is not a fantasy age. It is an age you can have all your fantasies, with and without technologies. Does it sound interesting?
Has there been any researches done on the relationships between education, learning and fantasies (not just the SL, or immersive technologies)?
What are the implications of these fantasies for us and our next generation?
Are we living in a dream world or world of dreams?
Will the open up of fantasies facilitate education and learning?