Weak-ties in Social Media and how they could be treated

Homophilly refers to the notion that people tend to be similar to their friends. People look for and make friends with people, who share similar characteristics, interests, hobbies….etc. With the establishment of modern technologies and the uprising trend of social media use, anyone with a device could essentially share his/her point of views anytime and anywhere they want. Often times, opinions could differ and people might stop interacting with each other merely because of the absence of mutual agreements on believes. In this article- Homophilly- Why Social Media Has Made You More Polarized, it talks about how the system of social media should both enable and encourage people with differing opinions to stay connected. It is mentioned in the article that, the “news feed” section on facebook only highlights people who one have been interacting with the most. This forms a possibility where individuals who don’t interact much to loose even more chances to stay connected with others.

            “But that means they rarely interact with the few friends with differing opinions. As a result, they aren’t exposed to opposing viewpoints. Designing social media toward nudging users to strengthen relationships with weak ties with different viewpoints could have beneficial consequences for the platform, users and society.” – Catherine Grevet, Gerogia Tech Ph. D.

The idea is that the problem doesn’t lie on people possessing different believes, but rather the absence of opportunity for ones with differing opinions to spark up interactions and communications on social platform. If the social media platform creates and opens up more windows where people with weak bondings/ties could view each others’ activities and engage in interactions, more ideas and understandings of believes could be achieved. In the long run, more and more people would be less reluctant to be exposed to the differing in faiths.

Source: http://www.science20.com/news_articles/homophily_why_social_media_has_made_you_more_polarized-128637

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