Critical of anything non-social…and birds of a feather….

In reading Andrew’s post about Being Critical of NGL and the week 7 material I started thinking about the downside of NGL.  My father is an x-policeman and abhors the amount of technology we have and how people walk down the street with their heads in the phones and don’t engage anymore.  I kind of roll my eyes every time he digs up the same tired old speech but I think there is something in it.  He believes that we are loosing the ability to look someone in the eyes and ‘communicate’, build relationships and speak the truth.

‘We never had these gadgets.  You looked a man in the eye and you could tell if he was lying.’

It’s something to think about.


Birds of a Feather by .janu, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  .janu 

In reading Andrew’s post about Deb’s post, and discussion on the phenomenon of ‘homophily’.  I couldn’t help think about my old Greek neighbour.   I recall living next to a Greek couple.  The man came over from Greece and had been in Australia for fourteen years.  I was surprised that his English was quite poor.  It turned out that he worked with other Greek men in the Greek community, all of his friends were Greek and he only spoke Greek at home.  The result was that his English never grew.  I guess that this is basically the same – if we are surrounded by people with similar skill sets, beliefs and opinions – we don’t grow as humans.

Here’s a video I found on the homophily and the effect on the workplace.  It goes in the history of homophile.

‘Similar people tend to build relationships than dissimilar people…’

However, in the abstract Investigating Homophily in Online Social Networks the authors question whether homophile really exists in social media;

‘Social media, which is becoming the infinite space for interactions, has exceeded all the expectations in terms of growth, for reasons beyond human mind. New ties are formed in social media just like the way they emerge in real-world. However, given the differences between real-world and online social media, do the same factors that govern the construction of new ties in real-world also govern the construction of new ties in social media?’
They raise some interesting questions…I just have to track down the full article.  If anybody finds a successful ‘free’ link to it please share.
Halil Bisgin, Nitin Agarwal, Xiaowei Xu, “Investigating Homophily in Online Social Networks,” wi-iat, vol. 1, pp.533-536, 2010 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Web Intelligence and Intelligent Agent Technology, 2010

About Paul Size

Currently studying a Masters in Learning and Development at the University of Southern Queensland.
This entry was posted in EDU8117, Networked Communities, NGL and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Critical of anything non-social…and birds of a feather….

  1. HI Paul

    Think I have found the article you wanted and added it to the NGL group. Let me know if it works.

    Cheers Tracey


  2. debliriges says:

    Hi Paul, thanks for continuing the conversation about homophily and providing this interesting video. The other aspect which struck a chord with me about groups was the potential effects of ‘weak ties’ – outside links opens up the possibilities of introducing new ideas into a group. So even if people tend to naturally group together (physically or virtually) based on shared interests and similarities, their outside links can still be a source of stimulation and rejuvenation to avoid being caught in group think!


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