Six Degrees of Separation and Virtual Communities

“I’ve read somewhere that everybody on this planet is separated by only 6 other people – six degrees of separation. How everyone is a new door, opening into other worlds”

The quote above is from the movie Six Degrees of Separation (1993). What is pretty neat is that I can be connected to Leonardo DiCaprio – it’s just a matter of finding those right 6 connections. With technology, those connections are easier to find and create. But, technology has also caused face-to-face interactions to be replaced with face-to-screen interactions.

Social media has resulted in us belonging to more than one online social groups all over the world. There is a virtual flattening and shrinking of the world. And maybe the 6 degrees of separation will soon shrink to 3 or 4 degrees of separation.

Today we are talking about Virtual Communities. To get all academic on you for a second a virtual community is a social network of individuals who interact through specific social media, potentially crossing geographical and political boundaries in order to connect. The popularity of virtual communities is a phenomenon of the 21st Centaury and Globalization.

People join virtual communities to connect with people like them and bond over common interests. And there is one for every topic imaginable; Yoga, Dance, Poetry, Vegan Cooking, Flash-dance, Video Games, Soccer Teams, Book Clubs, Business Networking, Expats, Wine tasting, gardening, fan pages, travel, health – the list goes on forever.

Speaking from personal experience I have found virtual communities during tough time and they have helped me through breakups, anxiety, and sometimes just when I need to vent. I recently read a book about a girl who joined an online group for people with a specific type of cancer. Really, the possibilities are endless. Motivation for joining virtual communities is also diverse.

Here is a list of 10 Virtual Communities we recommend

  1. Guiri Business: Professional Network for Foreigners/Expats (LinkedIn)
  2. GSMA Mobile World Congress (LinkedIn)
  3. Expats of Barcelona (Facebook)
  4. Barcelona Eat Local Food Tours (Facebook)
  5. Barcelona Metropolitan (Facebook)
  6. Barcino (Facebook)
  7. Facebook Marketing Meetup Barcelona
  8. The American Society of Barcelona (Facebook)
  9. Fearless Networkers (Facebook)
  10. Sustainable Living International (Facebook)

Members of these groups can come from all over the world forming connections from Toronto, Canada to Sydney Australia, Belgium to the penguins in Antarctica. When I was 14 I went on a cruise and almost all of the workers came from different corners of the world. My porter was from Jamaica, the activities coordinator was from Sweden, and the formal dinner waiter was from the Philippians. I met friends from Europe and The United states and am still able to maintain contact with them through social media. I can go anywhere in the world and find others like me.

Technology and Social media have flattened the world into a string of connections from one person to another. Online virtual communities are bringing us closer together from farther distances.

Christopher Columbus proposed that the world was round, and in reality, it is. But virtually its more of a 3D oddly shaped spider web of connections and interactions. As we join more groups and interact more in the virtual world the more connections we form and the more interwoven into society we are.

As our motto goes “Connecting People and Communities” we see connections on and offline as an important aspect of 21st Century living. Join groups, meet people online and form communities. Who knows maybe one day you’ll discover you’re only 6 degrees of separation from Oprah Winfrey, Beyoncé, Prince William, or your idol. It really is a small world after all.

We not only interact in a virtual world now but soon we could be completely immersed in it. So embrace the virtual because it is the future and the future is now!


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