A few years ago a website inspired from a film attempted to demonstrate how each person around the world was spread through six degrees of connectivity or less. The thought was that everyone knows everyone else through only six other people. That is to say that my friend knows some people that I don't know and they know even more people and so it goes on. The idea was that only six peoples in depthfor these relations would associate you with everyone.
Sixdegrees comes in because people signed up themselves and invited their friends to join. As more and more people joined the connections became more complex and more and more people were associated via this network. Overtime everyone would have been linked. Unfortunatley this project dissapeared under the waves of data.
Recently it has re-surfaced into my group of friends but under a different name. It is now called Orkut and is dependent on people knowing other people to make the list grow, based on invitations rather individuals signing up. This was in the hope that everyone would be linked to at least one person.
These experiments are interesting because we live in a time of relative isolation. We are able to find people to chat to from all over the world quite easily and most of the people on our messenger lists we have never met. We have taken the physical act of meeting and associating with others into a virtual realm. What interests me is the cause for this movement away from one thing towards another. Is the reason we're moving online due to social factors like longer working days, longer commutes to meet friends and more? Are you becoming a more global and international society where the only way to keep in touch with friends is through online means?
I enjoy going out every night to meet friends, spend time with them talking about many different topics, being sociable. It can be quite a challenge finding people with whom to spend time during the week. It seems most people are too tired and unwilling to socialise to link up. Why is it that our best friends are no longer living in the same country as us anymore. Are social interactions becoming something quite different.
Tomorrow I will be back in Switzerland meeting my friends who live in Switzerland, enjoying their company, enjoy the bars, restaurants and more which I've grown a part of. I will no longer require the world wide web or communication technologies to communicate as I will be there in person. I may be able to encourage more people to join Orkut, to become part of a network of people who know others having more than one link.
As I have seen although I am a member of Orkut and have invited some friends so far none have decided to join. I will attempt to invite more friends and see whether these decide to join when they have time. It's an interesting idea and I'd like to be a more active member but this depends on how strong the friendships are in the real world and whether I can interest people in becoming a part of it.