Wow! ” 6 degrees of separation” is now down to 4.74 and it’s all thanks to our use and love of Social Media. When you think that the original “6 degree” study was done with 296 people and the new number is based on 721 million, it blows your mind – and those millions are Facebook users!
“The experiment took one month. The researchers used a set of algorithms developed at the University of Milan to calculate the average distance between any two people by computing a vast number of sample paths among Facebook users. They found that the average number of links from one arbitrarily selected person to another was 4.74. In the United States, where more than half of people over 13 are on Facebook, it was just 4.37.”
“When considering even the most distant Facebook user in the Siberian tundra or the Peruvian rain forest,” the company wrote on its blog, “a friend of your friend probably knows a friend of their friend.” and then “the example of a man wanted for a crime. A random Facebook user might discover that she took a class with someone who rented an apartment from someone who grew up with the suspect. They may all be connected as Facebook ‘friends.’”
. . . makes you want to stop and consider who are your friends – think about it! But, on the brighter side, just think of the possibilities of sharing our ideas, our businesses, our products. The tremendous, global reach of Facebook and other forms of Social Media is enormous. Just a few small steps and you can communicate and share with the world (well, maybe not everyone in the world) . . . it’s getting smaller and smaller every day. Get out there and speak your mind!