Socially Connected Professors on Twitter

The concept of “6 degrees of separation,” coined in 1929, results from the idea people know only 44 people on a first name basis, and each of those people knows 44 unique people. Mathematically speaking, no one person is more than six steps from Kim Kardashian or a New Zealand sheepshearer. The worldwide adoption of social media shrinks this number.

In 2011, Facebook analyzed user data, finding 4.74 degrees of separation is closer to the truth.

Platforms like Twitter allow a user to communicate with direct and indirect connections, and in certain cases with complete strangers whose tweets surface due to a like, retweet, or reply by an acquaintance. In short, a user need not be directly connected with another user in order to engage with them. This dynamic allows even the most underserved student to connect with professors from schools like MIT and Harvard.

This article explores the top twenty-three socially connected professors on Twitter. All educators listed are U.S.-based, have active accounts, and have large followings. Each field of study is limited to five representatives. Since Twitter hosts a large number of established law professors, restricting the number within that discipline granted a voice to professors in other academic areas.