Virtual Worlds Photo by juanpol, Flickr Virtual networks on the internet make social networks visible. Entirely new networks can form in virtual worlds that mimic real life. They can also provide a platform for research.
Virtual Worlds Photos by Minako Bracken and Torley, Flickr Online you can look however you want! But people still mostly behave like people (or at least the people they look like). More attractive avatars tend to have more confidence!
Virtual Worlds Photos by moggs oceanlane, Flickr The Ultimatum Game works in virtual worlds too. But people are affected by the appearance of their avatar! Player 2’s with tall avatars accept low offers only 38% of the time while short avatars accepted 72% of the time, regardless of the height of the actual players!
Technology and Networks Photos by woodleywonderworks, SP8254 and davipt, Flickr Technology has not only affected communication but also travel. People are much more mobile. As the population grows, this means exposure to more and more people.
Hyperconnected Photos by Alexander O'Neill, Johnny Jupiter Photo and vanz, Flickr There have always been fears that each new form of technology will diminish good-old-fashioned means of maintaining friendships. But social networks have only grown stronger with the dawn of the telegraph, phone, and the internet!
Hyperconnected Photos by macieklew and ndrwfgg, Flickr The town of Netville is a great example of how technology aids rather than compromises social networks.
In this town, “wired residents”…
Could name more fellow residents
Talked to more fellow residents
Visited more fellow residents
And called more fellow residents!
… than their “unwired” neighbors.
Networks Go Online Photos by facebook.com, myspace.com, friendster.com and MySDScience.com There are now hundreds of online social networks!
Networks Go Online Photos by facebook.com These social networks reflect both real world offline interactions and new social networks or connections formed online.
Networks Go Online Photos by facebook.com Some users have hundreds or even thousands of “friends” on these sites. But the average user has 110 friends on Facebook. That’s very close to the expected maximum in a real-world social network (Dunbar’s number). Of those, only about 6.6 are close friends anyway.
Reality and Wikiality Photo by Wikipedia.com Wiki = the Hawaiian word for “fast.” Online wikis are designed to allow anyone to share information fast!
Reality and Wikiality Photo by Wikipedia.com Some think wikipedia is not reliable because anyone can write anything! But social networks emerge to regulate each topic. In wikis, individuals create something together that none of the individuals could have made alone.
Reality and Wikiality Photos by Ramona.Forcella and quinet, Flickr Access to so much information and so many people can be both beneficial and dangerous. It is important to realize that online social networks and offline social networks are two completely different things, though rooted in our basic humanity. Online Offline
The Same But Different Photos by ☆ Shorne ☆and kangotraveler, Flickr The boundaries between the internet and reality are beginning to blur. One woman even went to jail for having an avatar killed.