I’m reading a new book call The Defining Decade, which discusses why your twenties are so important. In one chapter, the author mentions how weak ties can be useful in your life.
Weak ties are relatively new relationships or at least ones where you aren’t close yet. These are people with whom you’ve talked to a few times, but not regularly — colleagues or distant friends. However, they can be highly beneficial.
The first benefit is that these relationships enable us to develop new perspectives. Ever heard of the quote: “you are the average of the five people closest to you”? Well, that holds true for a reason.
Unless you make an active effort against this, we tend to develop similar perspectives to our closest friends. So by developing an extensive network of people you talk to, even if they are weaker relationships, you will quickly cultivate a broader perspective. It’s a salve against creating an echo chamber.
The second benefit is that these weak ties connect us to even more people and potential opportunities. Because they enable a broader network, we gain access to people who we can help or work with. The internet allows us to develop weak & strong ties, so take advantage of it. You can talk to almost anyone you want, and it all starts with a simple DM.
The caveat is to be authentic & avoid being transactional. Send personal messages rather than simply saying “hi”. They don’t know you, so you have to make an effort to be someone they want to respond to. If you want more responses, be thoughtful with the questions you ask. It’s not hard, but most people do it poorly. Use it as a chance to learn from others & develop new insights. Stay curious.