I remember feeling a surge of hope when I read last year that social networking sites had surpassed porn in terms of Internet traffic. Good news, I thought — maybe we aren’t doomed to the hedonistic demise predicted by cultural historians. Perhaps this increasingly seductive technology could even deliver us to a finer place: a world with more genuine human connection.

Tiffiny Carlson

Surely it’s premature to declare social networking the savior of humanity, but adopters of “everyone-knows-you’re-a-dog-online” interaction reached critical mass in recent months, rendering the early Internet ideal of anonymity almost quaint. With more than 250 million users on Facebook alone, there’s no doubt we’re navigating a Web revolution unseen since “Google” cracked verb status.

Today, the operative verb is “friend.” In the parlance of Facebook, millions of people friend each other every day — and the more connections made, the fewer degrees of separation between everyone who participates. Under his or her real name, each Facebook user shares life updates with an average of 120 friends, and many exceed that number by hundreds or, in some cases, thousands.

What does all this mean for people with disabilities? A lot: Every connection represents an opportunity to br