The Reliants Project #35

How networks shape our lives

Thanks for signing up to all the new readers! Here are some nuggets about how networks shape your wellbeing, relationships and community to help you actively cultivate yours.


The Strange Relationship Between Power and Loneliness suggests that the temporary experience of power actually enhances the feeling of social connection, but if that experience is sustained over long periods of time it might lead to loneliness:

“In a study by School for CEOs, 93% of chairs and CEOs indicated that prospective CEOs require more preparation for the role than they typically get, especially to ready themselves for the loneliness and ultimate accountability that lie ahead. One respondent stated, “People underestimate the human dynamics of the situation, whether it be loneliness or the reality that if you screw up, there’s nobody to help.”


We sometimes lump all social apps into one big bucket. In What WhatsApp has taught me about friendship, it’s clear that how we engage with them makes a huge difference.

“We often have a stereotype that a group chat on something like WhatsApp would be superficial, and certainly some conversations go that way,” McCabe said. But in her interviews, she was struck by how often people were using group chats to talk about very difficult things they were going through, and to seek emotional support. When this help comes from a group, it can feel more impactful than when it is coming from just one person. “You can feel enveloped in love and support,” she explained.

If you are interested in my conversation with Janice McCabe, you can listen to it here.


Is the community or network the most valuable asset an organisation can have? In Network Effects Are Overrated, Jonathan Knee argues that it doesn’t live up to the hype. While I personally disagree, it’s always worthwhile to spend time holding someone else’s perspective. Perhaps it boils down to the difference between networks and communities. You might be embedded in a network, but you have a sense of belonging if you identify as part of a community. Maybe therein lies the value.

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About The Reliants Project

Reliant is my word for a person that someone depends on, an essential component of our social networks. With each edition, I’ll share useful nuggets about how networks shape your wellbeingrelationships, and community to help you actively cultivate yours. Whether you want to make better introductions, build better social products and services, or activate networks to make an impact in the world, let me help you reach your goals.

You can find more about The Reliants Project here.