You've probably heard of six degrees of separation, the theory has been that an average of six intermediaries can connect any two people in the world. Though it may only exist as a myth, several attempts have been made to verify this figure including email chains in 2001 and 2007 winding up with 6 and 6.6 respectively. Well a recent New York Times article has determined that new forms of communication such as Facebook have possibly decreased that number down to "4.74" worldwide and "4.37" within the United States alone.
While I happen to be in the minority of people my age who doesn't use Facebook, I do find the new connections in the world to be extremely fascinating. There are entire districts of the Internet devoted to the most obscure fandoms and fetishes, and I truly doubt there is much left in the world that isn't online. Of course there is always the classic argument that while these technologies are allowing people to have easier and more connections, they may be inhibiting our relationships by decreasing real world interaction.
So what do you think? Do you think it is a good thing that like minded communities are easier than ever to find due to the connectives of the online world, or are we loosing out on the more mundane and real interactions of yesteryear? And does an increase in online friends really mean you are connected with more people?