We’re doomed.

Have you noticed how weird social networking feels? We’re all using Twitter, Facebook, and dozens of other social networking sites and applications, and I’ve spoken with many people who are at least a bit uncomfortable about it. You’ve heard it: “I ‘know‘ way more people, but I feel as though I don’t really know anyone”.

Turns out to be true.

Not metaphorically, either, and not just in a “I knew interacting over those evil computers was bad for you” kind of way. New research indicates that if you know people who are depressed, you’re likely to become depressed as well. And the numbers are shocking: 52% more likely if you know them personally, 25% more likely if there’s one person between you, and 15% more likely when you’re at three degrees of separation.

My LinkedIn profile shows almost 7 million people within three degrees of me (updates as of July 17 2012: over 11.5 million people, and on December 2 2013, nearly 17 million connections). Twitter doesn’t report on that, but since I have nine times as many followers on Twitter as on LinkedIn, I have to believe the numbers are way higher (exponentially, 9 cubed, or 729 times higher).

Scared yet? Nah, me neither. But intrigued as all get-out. Now, back to my social networking activities.

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