The connective tissue of Facebook
Facebook is poised to sign up its 200 millionth user. It is still a drop in the bucket compared to the 6 billion sentient beings that are alive in the world today. Yet, with more connective tissue, the world becomes smaller. A sociological study from 1950 found there was six degrees of separation from us and anybody else in the world. With the explosive advent of social media that separation has been whittled down to three. That is, today you are only three people away from any one person in the world.
However, with all the social connectiveness of Facebook, it is interesting to discover that we maintain real relationships with just a handful of friends (see the chart below from the New York Times). We still desire intimacy in our connections and are willing to be vulnerable only with those who can truly be trusted.