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Consequential strangers

Whether you think of them interchangeably, mingling and networking are not the same thing. Watching pedestrians navigate sidewalks and walkways makes it look easy and natural. While practice may make this true, there are rules in place to help keep you civil and safe when out for a walk. When Conversation Boundaries are Crossed. Visit my Blog for more etiquette articles. First Name.


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But if there are specific people contacting you, you can block them and their messages. When you block someone, they can't see the things you post, tag you, start a conversation, add you as a friend, or invite you to events. They also can't send you messages or video calls. On your Facebook home page, in the upper-right corner, select the down-arrow. From the dropdown menu , choose Settings. In the Block users section, in the Block users field, enter the person's name.

Talking to Strangers - Malcolm Gladwell (Signed Book)

You may be presented with several options of people with that name to choose from. Select Block. If the stranger contacting you is engaging in behavior that violates Facebook's community standards, you can report them. The behaviors include:. Under Where is the problem? If you have a screenshot of the threatening message, upload the screenshot. Or select Include a screenshot with my report to automatically screenshot the screen you're currently on.

Share Pin Email. This longtime web enthusiast and consultant has a broad knowledge of how personal web pages work. Updated September 03, To finish, select Close. Limit the Audience for Posts You've Shared. In the left rail, select Posts You're Tagged In. Next to Who can send you friend requests? In the dropdown menu, select Friends of friends.

Who Can Look You Up? In , when Merrill Lynch asked social observer Michael Schrage to analyze how "new" technologies would transform businesses, he stressed that the shift did not herald an "information revolution" as much as a "relationship revolution". Today, at least 1. Various social media, such as blogs, wikis, Twitter, SMS, and networking sites like Facebook facilitate contact, coordination, and collaboration across boundaries of time and space—and at minimal cost.


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Such relationship are referred to elsewhere as "peripheral" versus "core" , "secondary" versus "primary" , or "weak ties" versus "strong". But in reality, relationships cannot be neatly classified into groups. Rather, they fall along a continuum. Consequential strangers occupy the vast territory between strangers and close or core ties.

In contrast, a personal and repeated pattern of interaction is evident with a consequential stranger. The field of consequential strangers encompasses a diverse assortment of relationship types. The gradations between weak ties are often blurred, among other reasons because all relationships are fluid and dynamic. Over time, some consequential stranger connections become close friends or even intimate partners, while others stay at the level of acquaintanceship—for example, those "anchored" to a particular place, such as a school, gym, or train station or involved in a paid service or status hierarchies e.

Also, the vocabulary of relationships can be confusing. Whereas some languages, such as French, have two forms of the pronoun "you"—using the informal tu with intimates and the formal vous with acquaintances—English has no such markers. The word "friend" is used to describe close and casual relations. One must inquire further to find out what the speaker means. For example, Japanese sociologist Hidenori Tomita coined the term "intimate stranger"—a person with whom one shares intimate and yet anonymous contact—to describe "new relationships born through the new media.

Social scientists in the seventies observed that in order for a relationship to develop into increasing intimacy, the social partners need opportunities to get together, time with one another, and a certain degree of privacy optimum group size for developing intimacy is small.

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Environmental, historical, and cultural factors also impinge on the course of a given relationship. At the other extreme are relationships that are barely blips on the social radar, such as people with adjoining season seats for a game or same-time-next-year conventioneers. Another factor that shapes a relationship is the level of investment and stability.

People are committed to their intimates, less so to their consequential strangers. If one's tennis partner moves or the owner of a favorite deli retires, such individuals might be missed, but others will fill their roles. Also, weak ties often serve compartmentalized needs—for a particular kind of assistance, a leisure activity, a work project—whereas intimates are more likely to serve multiple functions. Self-disclosure—both breadth the variety of subjects discussed and depth the degree of intimate sharing —is the engine that drives all relationships.

As a rule of thumb, the closer the relationship, the more time spent together, the more likely that social partners will self-disclose. At different times of day, at different times of life, and at different points in history, people are more or less open to disclosing information about themselves.

Thus, although lovers and best friends may be the likely recipients of confidences, they are rarely the only ones. Individuals also confide in their consequential strangers, particularly those near the intimate end of the continuum. Studies have shown, for example, that this happens frequently with certain professionals—among them, hairdressers and divorce lawyers.

In part it's the regularity of contact, in part the place itself.

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Numerous studies underscore the importance of intimate relationships—and nothing in the conceptualization of consequential strangers disputes this. However, weak ties can be similar to, different from, and supportive of close relations. In some situations, consequential strangers may allow distinct facets of identity to emerge. For example, women over fifty who join the Red Hat Society tend to express aspects of themselves in the company of other "Hatters" that would surprise members of their families. Research also suggests that one can develop a greater sense of agency and mastery by stepping into multiple roles.

And because of the lack of familiarity in these various situations, it is necessary to communicate in more "elaborated" patterns of speech with consequential strangers than with loved ones. Relating to assorted others forces an individual to "negotiate, exercise judgment, reconcile, compromise, and take account of the intentions, purposes, motivations, and perspective" of his or her assorted role partners.

Weak ties also provide benefits not available in close ties: information, resources, and novelty, as well as a sense of being "known" in the larger community. Consequential strangers often act as "bridges" to new people and groups. In certain situations, downward comparison feeling better than may contribute to self-esteem.

One study found that college students tend to view friends as comparable to themselves, but make downward comparisons with acquaintances. Viewing oneself as better than a close partner might jeopardize the relationships.