Acquaintances, or "weak tie" friendships, may have more meaning in your life than you might think. The term "weak tie" was coined by Mark Granovetter, a sociology professor at Stanford University in 1973. He defined "weak ties" as people in your outer circle who you see or interact with infrequently and "strong ties" as your inner circle, people who you have see and talk with often. His research found that weak-ties relationships provided new information, ideas and connections more than strong tie relationships. Subsequent research has shown that larger weak-tie networks also correspond to increased feelings of happiness and greater sense of belonging. Due to the pandemic, opportunities to naturally engage in weak-tie connections have become rare. Social media may be the key to continuing to cultivate this essential human interaction.

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