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The New Friendsy App Frenzy is Ruining Triadic Closure

By human nature, we build relationships and friend groups upon the foundation of finding people who value and share the same interests as us. Personally, I can say first hand, that my friend group can spend hours talking about silly Buzzfeed quizzes or places we’ve always dreamed of traveling to. I realized that this is the basis for my relationships: the ability to bond over shared interests. In networks class, we learned about the concept of Strong Triadic Closure. This concept states that if Person A has a strong relationship to Person B and Person C, A will most likely bridge the gap between B and C. This concept makes a lot of sense. It is exactly how my friend group was created and built upon. If I am very good friends with Person X and I am also very good friends with Person Y for the same interests or personality type, it makes sense for Person X and Y to be compatible as friends. This was how our friendship networks were built prior to social media.

 

However, after the social media age, I realize that our generation is resorting to other means as ways to build networks. The concept of “Facebook Stalking” became a verb added to many people’s dictionaries. Going on a first date with a potential love interest without checking out his/her Facebook first was essentially taboo. This new method took the mystery out of getting to know somebody new and building a relationship with him/her.

 

Friensy is the newest social media site to catch like wildfire on college campuses across the nation. Basically, Friendsy offers users a chance to chat anonymously, compliment, and make friendly/romantic relationships when feelings were reciprocated. Friendsy gives users the option to select three options: “Friend, Hook Up, or Date” from merely seeing a few pictures of that person and nothing else. This concept of online dating, and judging a book by its cover is becoming more and more prevalent as our society moves into the future.
This new application is violating strong triadic closure because the application idea is based on the assumption that networks are formed on appearance. Here is an example, which can disprove the Strong Triadic Closure theory by contradiction. Let’s suppose Person A (John) finds Person B (Sally) on Friendsy. He sends Sally a request to become Friends AND to hook up based solely on the fact that John thinks Sally is attractive. John and Sally meet up and become a strong connection. Person C (Mike) is John’s friend. John might NOT want Mike and Sally to meet as he might view Mike as potential competition and the underlying fear of Sally and Mike hitting it off may deter John from closing this triangle. Therefore John chooses not to introduce them to one another, violating Strong Triadic Closure. In other words, with the trend of society heading towards social media dominance, I believe that the Strong Triadic Closure theory will dissipate into something that once was, but is no longer.

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