Research: We’re Losing Touch with Our Networks

During the pandemic, we’ve shifted our attention away from strangers toward strengthening relationships with family, friends, and our closest colleagues. If you think of your network as a series of six concentric circles that decrease in emotional intensity as you move toward the larger outer rings, the innermost circle contains the five or so people you turn to in times of severe emotional and financial distress. The outermost ring is made up of the roughly 1,500 acquaintances or weak ties whom you would recognize by sight. When we compared the personal and work networks of hundreds of individuals pre- and post-pandemic, we found that the size of the outermost ring has shrunk. But that shrinkage was accompanied by a strengthening of our closest relationships. Read more (HBR)