The study of social networks stems from the social sciences, so there is a lot of crossover in theories and terminology. My new word of the day is homophily, from the Greek meaning “love of the same.” In Charles Kadushin’s words, “if two people have characteristics that match in a proportion greater than expected in the population from which they are drawn or the network of which they are a part, they are more likely to be connected. Commonly put, birds of a feather flock together.
Thinking about my own networks, this holds a lot of truth – I enjoy the natural synergies and effortless bonds with like-minded people. In the past few years however, I’ve been consciously seeking the exact opposite. Heterophily (the love of the different) has drawn me to different places and faces. It has fuelled my creativity, forced me to exercise more empathy, and ultimately, it has helped me grow.