Social networks are structures made up of people. Social networks can be physical, in the flesh, but they more popularly occur online. Social networks are made up of individuals and are also known as virtual communities. The advent of social networks and social networking has dramatically changed the world and the way that people communicate and interact with one another. Social networks enable people to share information and communicate in ways not previously available. Although social networking sites vary as to what their capabilities allow, there are features that are common to social networks, such as the ability to share information, data, messages, pictures, videos, and any number of other things.

There seems to be a social network for every topic and type of individual. Because these social networks take place online there is an anonymity factor that enables many to get involved socially where they otherwise might not take part. People have used social networks to find friends, lovers, employers, mentors, money making opportunities, and many people have used them to somehow further their personal lives. Examples of social networks are internet groups, forums, social networking sites (Facebook, MySpace, Friendster, Flickr, YouTube) and more. Although there are many advantages of social networks there are some negatives. Some examples of these are identity theft, computer viruses, and online predators.

One problem with social networks is that they have left many technologically challenged people in the dirt. Social networks are an online phenomenon, so those without computer knowledge or ability, for whatever reasons, are missing out. Folks who are unable to "keep up" with the times are having a hard time staying abreast of how to join and continue participating in social networks, or are never able to be involved in them at all. The biggest group of people who have been neglected by the increase of social networks as a means of communication and doing business is the elderly. The social networks and other technological advances are great for most of the generations, but not all octogenarians are able to properly use a computer. The language regarding social networks also changes very quickly and some of these folks are not able to keep up. This leaves them behind and out of many loops that are helpful, which only seems to widen the generation gap.

Overall, social networks have impacted society and changed it. Some say it is for the better yet there are also those who disagree. There is no disputing the idea that social networks have definitely had a tremendous impact on the world and way it interacts.