2cupscoffeeI'm in the middle of a very interesting book by Paul Adams, called Grouped. It's about how friends and networks work in an online environment.
Adams cites research by Liz Spencer and Ray Pahl (that I'm going to investigate; sounds fascinating) that identifies eight types of relationships, which can be characterized as "weak ties" or "strong ties":
Weak ties-people we don't know well, acquaintances:
Associates: don't know each other well, share a common activity (like a hobby)
Useful contacts: share information and advice (often related to work)
Fun friends: join for fun, don't provide emotional support
Favor friends: help each other out in a functional, not emotional way
Helpmates: combine characteristics of fun + favor friends
Strong ties-the people we care about most, our inner circle-most people have fewer than 10 strong ties, and many, fewer than 5
Comforters: helpmates with deeper emotional support
Confidants: share personalRead More »from Ever Feel Awkward About Making or Getting a Request to “Add Friend”?