First Evidence That Online Dating Is Changing the Nature of Society

Long ago I read about the small world and superconnectors in learning about graph theory.

Perhaps everyone is connected by six degrees (even less actually), but a lot of those connections are through a few people. And those connectors get more and more links as they start getting “rich” with links.

This item had some cool further observations:

We used to meet people we already knew. Parties, family intros. Now we can meet six-degrees friends or even strangers — online dating.

And now that these remote links are easier to make, the entire society should start blending across the traditional race and class boundaries faster. The data shows its happening. And Tinder is only five years old.

Which got me thinking about business relationships. Some folks have a ton of them. Some have them very focused on means-to-an-end. But if you limit your links (because your time is too precious to invest in loose-contacts, where the outcome is unclear), well one of your assets won’t be superconnector status. And you won’t be well positioned to solve novel problems by reaching into new precincts.

I wonder what if any are the benefits to being isolated entirely, or of being moderately isolated (“I’m connected enough”).

If anything perhaps one should prioritize their link-making to focus on links to other big superconnectors. Perhaps connecting to singletons doesn’t yield much payoff.

And perhaps figuring out ways to make these links without paying the same cost for every link is best – like establishing relationships at higher scale and volume.