The Reliants Project #42
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.
We often think of social capital as something that enhances and supports our wellbeing. In this piece, the author discusses What is social capital privilege? He reminds us that the bridges we build bring some people together, but often exclude others. He also reminds us what those consequences might look like in a digital-first world:
Technology has clearly expanded the labour market in ways Granovetter (1974) could not have anticipated. But despite the hope that its greater reach and scope would lead to greater diversity, data from LinkedIn suggests that 70% of recruitments now take place without advertisement, up from the 50% Granovetter (1974) originally observed. Faucher (2018) explains this trend by looking through the lens of social capital. He found online networks to be most useful if they originated offline since face-to-face meetings foster a greater level of impersonal trust and reciprocity. He argues that greater use of technology enhances the opportunities for those with privileged access to social capital.
It’s Your Friends Who Break Your Heart is a great article about the challenges of maintaining friendships as we age. The author reflects on famous friendships that ended spectacularly as well as challenges she has faced personally. She also comments on how friendship doesn’t get the same level of research funding as other categories of relationships. Sadly, there’s actually much good quality research about it.
When we spoke, Perel was also preparing for her very first couples-therapy session with two friends, suggesting that Sow and Friedman were onto something. “The pandemic has taught us the importance of mass mutual reliance,” Perel said. “Interdependence has to conquer the lonely, individualistic nature of Americans.” As a native of Belgium, Perel has always found this aspect of American life a little baffling, particularly when she was a new mother. “In my culture, you ask a friend to babysit,” she told me. “Here, first you try to hire someone; then you go and ‘impose.’ And I thought: This is warped. This has got to shift.”
Last week I had the opportunity to join Ollie Henderson on his podcast, which focused on the Future of Work. He is currently writing a book called Work/Life Flywheel that will be published in 2023. We spoke about Cultivating Networks & Communities and how important this will be to how we work in the future, both for our organisations and ourselves.
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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 wellbeing, relationships, 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.