*Social relationships which are not close or intimate, as distinct from strong ties. Weak ties are argued to involve infrequent contact, superficial bonds, and a narrow scope. Some associate them with online relationships, but remarkably strong ties sometimes develop in virtual communities, and can be an antidote to isolation. Some sociologists argue that social cohesion and the public sphere depend on the maintenance of weak ties. Mark Granovetter (b.1943), an American sociologist, argues that weak ties provide individuals with access to more people, and more importantly a more diverse range of people and ideas, since they are often less similar to ourselves than in strong ties. Diffuse links can thus aid the diffusion of information and ideas. Ling suggests that the mobile phone (which is supportive of strong personal ties) may be hostile to weak ties insofar as its public use reduces our involvement in the immediate public sphere. See also public and private sphere.
http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.128.7760&rep=rep1&type=pdf Granovetter's theory of the strength of weak ties
Subjects: Media Studies.