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Social Media and Networking: Network

SLS 1122: New Student Experience - Personal Connection Co-Curricular


The importance of our social networks

Today it is becoming increasingly important for people to have diversified and supportive connections, which can be defined as a network. One way to broaden your network is through social media. Though there are resources and opportunities all around us, we may be unaware of their existence or may not have direct access to them. In those situations, knowing people from different backgrounds and experiences is helpful.  For instance, have you ever needed a letter of recommendation from someone in order to get a job, or had to rely on somebody else's knowledge in order to find a specific doctor? Without a network of resources getting this information may seem like an impossible task. By reaching out to the people you know you are engaging your social network.

Strong and weak ties

Throughout our lives, we form different kinds of relationships with different people. With our family and friends, we establish "strong ties" that provide us with a sense of companionship, comfort, and security. With other people to whom we usually do not have such in-depth emotional connections, we develop "weak ties" that help us to achieve more specific needs. Even though we usually don't pay too much attention to our weak ties, some authors say that it is through them that we become aware of new opportunities and broaden our horizons.


Activity #1: "Social Networking for the Networking Averse" 

Watch the short video below. Consider how social networking and making connections with weaker ties could lead you to future opportunities. After you watch the video, respond to the Pause and Reflect questions below. 


1. Pause and Reflect

A friend or friend of a friend with a well-connected network is invaluable because:
a. Their network extends beyond yours: 7367 votes (87.51%)
b. It increases your status: 712 votes (8.46%)
c. Other people will give you jobs: 339 votes (4.03%)
Total Votes: 8418

2. Pause and Reflect

Weak ties are important because:
a. You can cut people off easily when they are no longer useful: 618 votes (7.5%)
b. They have different resources than your strong ties: 7553 votes (91.71%)
c. The skin on your neck is fragile: 65 votes (0.79%)
Total Votes: 8236

3. Pause and Reflect

Networking is the key to your:
a. Popularity: 1669 votes (19.72%)
b. Winning the lottery: 137 votes (1.62%)
c. Mobility: 6656 votes (78.66%)
Total Votes: 8462

To proceed to the next topic, click the "Faux Pas" tab above.