A social network is defined as a chain of individuals and their personal connections. Expanding one’s connections with other people is a technique that can be used both for personal or business reasons. Social networking applications make use of the associations between individuals to further facilitate the creation of new connections with other people. This could be used to meet new friends and connect with old ones, as many people do on Facebook, or to expand one’s professional connections through a business network like LinkedIn.
Social networking is based on the concept of “six degrees of separation,” wherein any two people can make contact by a chain of, at most, five mediators. This means that at any given time, each person in the world is connected through a link of five people, making social networking a very powerful tool for spreading or obtaining information.
Connections are made possible when a person starts to invite people as contacts. When the invited person accepts the request, the inviter can then invite the invitee’s personal contacts, further expanding the network as the cycle continues. Through social networking, interrelated cyber communities can be created in order to help individuals find contacts that may be useful to them but otherwise may be very unlikely for them to meet. With the popularity of social networking sites, more and more people can become part of an online community. They will be able to make new friends as well as share their lives online from wherever they’re located.