Social networking has been defined as the interaction between individuals or organizations within a social structure. Within an online social network, individuals or organizations which can either be casual acquaintances or closely related by blood can easily interact through messaging, blogs, picture sharing, chain mails, videos, music and a lot of other communication tools available in social network websites in the internet.
6 Degrees of separation
In the late 1960′s, a social experiment called small world hypothesis was done to prove that any two persons can be connected through a social network by 6 degrees of separation. This was done by successfully passing a message from one person to a target person through acquaintances of the people in the link. Although most of the links in the experiment failed to complete, the electronic version of this experiment as well as the online social networks today has proven that we can indeed reach out to almost anyone in the world through our contacts.
Social Networking Websites
Social networking websites have recently become very popular in connecting people sharing the same hobbies or interests. These social networking websites can be, in a way, regarded as online communities where different people from all over the world can share their opinions, views, thoughts and generally everything that can lead to the development of relationships or friendships. To make it easier for people to integrate themselves into these social network sites, groups or organizations can often be found in social networking websites where you can meet people with the same interests, religion, locality, view in politics, etc.
Upon completing the registration for these social networks, you can then begin to familiarize yourself with what the social network has to offer. This can be done easily through browsing the member’s profiles, reading the blogs or bulletin boards and chatting with the other people online. This way, you can make friends with other people you wouldn’t have the chance to be friends with in the real world because of geographical, political, social and other limitations. Interacting with the people online will also make you aware of the different cultures, religions and people present in the social network which will be very beneficial in expanding your knowledge about the world around you.
Dangers of Online Social Networks
Online social networking however comes with its own dangers and risks. There had been several incidents in which a dangerous person would pose as a different one in these networks and lure unknowing victims into meeting them. Because of this, most of the social networking sites have placed restrictions and limitations as to who could join the network and what the minimum age should be. Some social networking websites have also placed barriers for the registration of individuals having a criminal record and some schools have even gone as far as prohibiting the use of the social websites to their students.
Being aware of these dangers though, will help you enjoy and maximize the benefits you will get from these online social networks. So if you’re ready to test your own small world hypothesis, look up these social networks online now.
Are you still feeling alone? Remember there are many others in the exact same situation. There are tools and support available both online and offline, including this online self help guide to overcoming shyness to help you reach out and make new friends.