Opening Up Networks

Of all 3,141 counties in the United States, New York County is the unrivaled leader in single-individual households, at 50.6 percent… Just one lone man or woman who flips on the coffeemaker in the morning and switches off the lights at night.

New York Magazine

What seems to happen as we get older (especially in big cities) is that people develop walled-off social gardens and put their friend groups into silos. They have friend group A: friends from work, B: friends from home, C: friends from school, D: Girlfriend’s/Boyfriend’s friends, AA: Party Friends, BB: Boring dinner friends, and last but not least D: That group of friends that you only hang out with 1 on 1.

In general I’ve seen this lead to groups getting left behind, groups shrinking, or groups going in cycles (hang out with group A for awhile, get sick of them, on to group B, rinse, repeat.) 

The big problem people have is scaling their lives to fit into this weird social dynamic that NYC forces upon you where smallish groups seem to dominate. I grew up with a sizable group of friends, and I just enjoy doing things in bigger groups sometimes. As we grow up, friends move away, and as free time comes at a premium, interesting people become harder to meet. I think the logic behind opening up your personal network is pretty simple and I’ve actively been a huge proponent of this in my groups of friends:

If I like you, and you like me, then you probably will like my other friends, because inherently we share some things in common. You should meet them, they should meet you. Maybe one day one of them will become your best friend, help you get a job, or introduce you to your future significant other. Or maybe they will back stab you in the back and become your mortal enemy, but at least you will have met them to know that.

1 comment

  • There’s also the group of E friends who you don’t feel you can hangout without a friend from Group A, B, C, or D being there. It’s pretty common that group E consists of a girl you think is cute, but have to make that uncomfortable leap of either bridging that gap yourself or waiting until you have the opportunity to be brought together…