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The Benefit and Capacity of Individual Social Networks for Providing Social Aid

The benefit and capacity of an individual social network for providing social aid tend to be established perfectly. According to the previous studies, there was sign gaining benefit of having nearby family and close friends, whereas more research has pinpointed family value and other close friends for specific emotional well-being despite the long distances. Although, internet has currently radicalized the access to and has offered social support exchange, specifically as clients being provided the capacity for accessing geographical and multiple disparate social networking systems. Various research analyzing establishment of internet tools such as social networking sites offer the necessity to re-calculate how and more significantly from whom this social support is acquired through social media.

Typically, computer mediated communication impacts regarding social networks have presented a number of queries regarding the duties of weak ties for which have been assumed to be unique affordance of rigid ties acquiring suitable social aid. Based on the research paper 88 college students perfectly completed a questionnaire centered on the recent Facebook status notifications and the comments and other likes regarding the prospective updates were established. The items questioned the participants’ understanding of every feedback and participants relationships components with every responder. The strong ties were considered to have imminent closer linkage and offered massive social support. Although, the weak tie relationship tends to be very many unlike the strong ties hence they were perceived by every participant in order to offer social aid which was considered to be very significant. Whereas the utilization of Facebook was not known to have erode the significance of the strong ties, the whole study discovered that conventional surroundings of the weak ties haven’t accounted for the strong social support which have been afforded by the weak tie relationship after being mediated via the social networking sites.

The strong ties tend to be heralded long before as a way of acquiring social aid. But the recent literature has stressed the utilization of accessibility of the prospective weak ties for social aid, specifically online. For instance, Rains and Keating (2011) realized that bloggers were in a position of acquiring social aid from various commenters also through linking up with other relatively less stronger ties. Though initial conceptualization of the identified string ties incorporated the distinctive unique capacity for offering social aid, different findings tend to increasingly be accompanied social support for the weak ties too.

The research seeks to answer the question and present a theoretical discrepancy which tend to have emerged within the ties and social aid research through the exploration of the weak and strong ties through the social networking sites, Facebook. Since the SNSs link up individual to strong and weak ties such as Facebook tend to afford a suitable chance for empirically evaluating how many people are connecting to a diverse network for social aid. The exploration of social support in a diverse SNS present a medium for exploring how and from whom the social support platform has been responded to online, a discipline whereby different scholars has depicted there is need for more research. Understanding social support receipt and seeking the behavioral change for the SNSs offers the effects of the networking theory and social aid and other accompanying health benefits.

Computer Mediated Communication and Social Networks

The emerging discrepancy tends to be a nature and affordances for exploration of the strong ties and have raised a number of questions which include:

RQ1: Are the SNSs changing the operation of strong and weak ties?

Tie Strength

The weak-tie theory is essential in comprehending a number of aspects for personal relationship behavior centered on the tie strength linking the two network actors. According to Granovetter (1973), he posited relative strength for the association of two individuals who perfectly recognized the strong, weak, and absent ties via a number of measures of the 4 variables which are: time utilized, emotional intensity shared, intimacy amid the two, and mutual relationship/service offered for one another. The strong-tie relationship tends to be very high for the identified variables and have been marked by the increased level of trust, support, and relational intimacy; the ties necessitate direct geographical proximity to be sustained. On the contrary, weak-tie relationship is lower over a number of variables, and easily sustained amid geographically distant persons compared to strong ties. Lastly, the absent ties tend to be relationships whereby every 4 variables tend to be null. On the same note, strong ties incorporate close friends and other family members, whereas the weak ties incorporate understanding and diverse friendly networking system, and absent ties incorporate people whose communication hasn’t been maintained.

Drawing from Granovetter (1973), he articulated the weak-tie theory in order to advocate underappreciated advantages for the weak ties and specifically their individual ability for offering access to a number of ideas and other connections for data which is unavailable from one individual’s strong tie networks. Despite the author consistently advocating strength of the weak ties for the more access of data, greater social capital, strong ties were known to be specified as being original and essential for countering social support capital amid relational partners. Certainly, well-known research on social support have been aimed on strength of the identified ties and have operated based on the assumption that the strong ties tend to offer social support.

Social support is vital and objective for human interaction. Social aid can be possibly be explained as data and various actions which causes an individual to perfectly understand or believe they are cared/loved or valued/esteemed or they have a mutual obligation or network of communication. According to Cutrona and Suhr (1992) the conceptualized aid was in two distinct categories which encompasses five forms. The specific actions that facilitate these involvements solve issues for people who are stressed through advice, facts, and feedback and offer the required goods/services. The support that is nurturant offered consolation and comfort via expression of concern and care, offering a sense of possession with people that have similar concerns or rather expressing concern for the distressed person’s value towards others. Typically, social support research in the communication field is specifically focused in emotional and informational aid because of its frequency in assisting groups and the nature of communication. Pinpointing on Vaux (1998) social support isn’t just a set of behavior although it’s a process of seeking, evaluating, and offering supportive characters. Despite being understood as a behavior or process, its evident that social support has been mediated via personal relationships.

The Importance of Weak Ties for Social Aid

Strength of the Strong Ties; The strong ties repeatedly signify as primary providers of social aid. Most often, the stronger ties tend to be operationalized and conceptualized as close friends and family. Access to and aid from the strong ties have been related empirically with the limited loneliness and less depression. Luckily, “strong” and very close ties can be sustained online and also through face-to-face communication. Although the strong ties can be handled online and offline, different people increasingly run to the internet in order to link up with different people from whom aid or support can be acquired.

Research has discovered that social support can be acquired through strong and weak networking ties using computer supported communication system. Despite previous research has perfectly documented the social support which is afforded by various social forums and blogs, minimal research has deeply discovered social support using the SNSs and its unique access of strong and the weak ties which could be afforded. The social networking sites tend to be the web tools which permit users in articulating and ensuring their social networks are visible”. More research has shown the SNSs tend not to identify and create new connections, although in maintaining the extant ties which is generally created offline. According to recent research, social support can be sought and offered using Facebook, its specifically fascinating how social support could be offered through strong and weak ties using the well-known SNS.

Moreover, Ellison et al., (2011), stressed on how close friends who link up using Facebook are more likely to discover a perfect means of being in touch. Typically, Subrahmanyam, Reich, Waechter and Espinoza (2008) signified regarding 1/5 SNS clients reported their individual SNS usage presented closer to their friends whereas Ross et al (2009) noted that social supports as primary motivation linked to Facebook usage. Subsequently, Facebook tends to be an excellent tool for accessing the strong ties and social support being provided. Moreover, the strong ties, SNSs facilitate too the weak ties.

For the SNSs the social support any specific challenge signified by SNS conceptualization as a tool for accessing multiple and broad networking resources is for minimizing the strong ties roles being accessed online. Since Facebook permits every user to access and associate with diverse and distant networking individuals, well-known social medium has changed interactive nature and relationships of different persons. Different web tools such as Facebook have changed how many people use their time and change the support and tend to necessitate re-evaluation of Granovetter’s (1973) assertion that social support tend to be clear affordance for the strong ties.

Time Utilized Online and Offline: individuals, online can offer a wide range of strong and weak ties in order to access to a vast range of resources. The SNSs is a perfect media to accessing the weak tie networks and its certainly that many Facebook friends are weak ties. For instance, Manago, Taylor, and Greenfield (2012) discovered that based on college students, the Facebook friend networks constituted of 21% close connections, 18% had consistent connections, and 51% had causal relationship. So, we foresee that since the college students’ Facebook friends constitute of weak ties unlike the strong ties, a more percentage of time for the SNS is utilized during interacting with every weak tie on the web.

Social Support on Social Networking Sites

H1: A significant percentage of the weak ties will react towards user’s posts with comments and likes compared to strong ties on Facebook.

On the same note, interacting and accessing the greater percentage of the strong and weak ties, mostly likely many users use more time associating offline with weak unlike strong ties acquired on the SNSs. According to Haythornthwaite (2005), he cautioned SNSs would unlikely be critical channels for every distinctive tie provided the massive number of accessible channels. As identified by Ellision et al., (2007), SNSs such as Facebook permits every user to have a weak ties over great coverage and it seems to be real for college student demographic.

H2: Many people associate frequently offline with the weak ties that offer aid on Facebook compared to the strong ties who offer support on Facebook

Reciprocity – Interaction offline posses’ additional effects for the online interactions. Considering the internet usage supplements telephone contact and face-to-face communication, we anticipate the networking ties can use a number of channels for associating with each other. Providing support on hypothesis 2, our argument is further extended in order to foresee the massive reciprocation of the aid in midst of the weak ties online. Based on Granovetter’s (1973) argument, mutual service defines strong ties factors, as we alternatively recommend that since every online transaction is identified to happen frequently with socially distant, weak ties:

H3: People frequently reciprocate online interactions using weak ties compared to stronger ties from the SNSs.

Adequacy of the support: a reconsideration for the rigidity of the strong ties typically steams within the duty of mutual service, the capacity of the weak ties readily offering suitable social support, also in a manner that is lightweight. Since social media such as Facebook motivate interaction from every participant, understanding of the weakly affiliated with different persons can be in a position of offering crucial although light-weight support through posting comments unlike expending the social capital significance in order to offer support. Being guided by the effects from the previous studies, the last hypothesis foresees that within Facebook’s weak ties more effective social aid would thank the strong ties.

H4: The weak ties can be perceived as offering effective social aid compared to the stronger ties within Facebook.

In this paper, survey research was identified for looking into the ties and social support within students in college regarding Facebook. With Facebook being the context for the entire research, the whole process offered a natural way for exploring social support, most commonly through the manifestation of every comment which would include text replied to personal status messages which have been publicly posted for every person and other people who can read. Every participant was thus requested to avail themselves within the research lab for which they were given a desktop computer and requested to have two different browsers in order to sign into their Facebook account so that they could commence their survey online. Every participant was further requested to have a copy of their last Facebook status notifications and also paste the whole code.

Exploring Social Support on Diverse Social Networking Sites

The main theory anticipated a more prominent extent of powerless ties over solid ties would answer a singular's SNS status message with social help, operationalized as re-intent of each update into an open-text response field in the online survey.  To test this theory, we contrasted the absolute number of remarks with a member's status message from a feeble bind to the all out number of remarks from a solid tie. To bifurcate powerless and solid connections to test the main theory, just social ties recognized by the member as very feeble or incredibly amazing  were utilized for examination. Less solid ties (n = 54) gave remarks on members' status messages than powerless ties (n = 102). A chi-squared trial of contrast uncovered this distinction was huge, χ2 (1) = 14.769, p < .001, in the normal course. In this way, Speculation 1 was upheld.

Accordingly, H2 was dismissed. Counter to our speculation, members cooperated all the more much of the time up close and personal with solid binds with whom they collaborated on Facebook than powerless binds with whom they associated on Facebook, paying little heed to geographic vicinity.

Theory three tended to tie strength and online connection through common remarking reactions, anticipating people would all the more every now and again respond online communication with powerless ties than solid ties. ANCOVA results uncovered no critical association inside members, F(1, 324) = 2.02, p = .156, η2 = .006. The ANCOVA likewise uncovered a critical fundamental impact of online communication, yet in something contrary to the normal bearing. Counter to the speculation, members revealed answering all the more oftentimes to more grounded ties by means of Facebook remarks, F(1, 324) = 18.267, p < .001, η2 = .283. Accordingly, H3 was not upheld with brings about the other way anticipated. A post hoc test uncovered recurrence of eye to eye collaboration and recurrence of online cooperation were fundamentally corresponded r (333) =.263, p < .001, demonstrating respondents responded internet based connection by means of common remarks all the more much of the time in the event that they interfaced all the more often disconnected.


What is your age?

How many friends do you have on facebook at the moment

What is your gender?

How often do you use facebook in a day?

If i could visit one site on the internet it would be Facebook














Std. Deviation




















At last, our fourth speculation anticipated powerless ties offered more successful social help in a SNS than solid ties. A conventional least-squares (OLS) relapse was performed between the reliant variable (steadiness of remark) and the free factor (tie strength). Relapse uncovered the model essentially anticipated strength of remark, F(1, 331) = 4.604, p = .033, R2 = .014, R2 changed = .011, and that social closeness altogether anticipated the apparent steadiness of the remark got, b* = .125. In any case, this impact was again the other way as expected, so more grounded ties gave remarks that were seen as more socially steady. In this way, H4 was not upheld. Strangely, a post hoc one-example t-test uncovered that both solid and frail ties' social help endeavors (M = 5.72, SD = 1.28) were seen as essentially over the scale midpoint (4) regarding steadiness, t(332) = 24.536, p < .001, demonstrating that remarks from both powerless and solid ties are for the most part seen as strong in a SNS.

Tie Strength and the Weak-Tie Theory

Conclusion and Discussion

All inclusive, test on our hypothesis offer very fascinating idea on how the network ties, Facebook’s role and social aid operates in looking into social support. In order to assist in make sense of all these we commence understanding the effects through briefly bridging the hypothesis and pinpointing capable connections amid these concepts. Subsequently, we aim our discussion on theoretical effects for every finding, mostly in regard to the implications for the weak tie theory and online social support. Lastly, we evaluate the potential limitations for the current research.  According to Grannovetter (1973), the weak-tie theory has been articulated in order to explicate the weak ties strength, providing how various individuals who have light, peripheral linkage would offer relational benefits through permitting access to new data and ideas.

During the earlier years, the Granovetter’s theory has been used in researching the increasing dependence on the weak ties in order to bridge disparate social networking systems and assure increase of social engagement. But since technology changes different connection strategies, different scholars have perfectly aimed on strengths of the weak ties while not considering the technological effect of the strong ties. The research was seeking to redress paucity through empirically rationalizing how the strong and weak ties can be accessed online, uniquely in well known SNSs, Facebook, and the way they are being used to acquire social support. Every of our findings show that in respect to social support, the strong ties necessarily do not weaken provided there is substantial support for every participant.

Although, since the weak ties tend to grow in strength, every of our findings portray weakness as the strong ties tend to be less frequent and can be accessed within the SNS compared to the weak ties. Considering hundreds of ties from a number of networks within different sites like Facebook, there is a discrepancy for the strong ties which recommend a relative weakness for the strong ties as rationalized to the weak ties on the internet. Therefore, based on recent research has referred for re-evaluation of social capital concept in virtual networking systems, our findings necessitate re-evaluation of tie theory and weak and strong ties concept within the virtual network. Since configuration of the networks and accessibility for these ties change, individuals will also use the ties, and CMC will afford the new perspectives. 


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