Between You and Me, there’s only 5 people, 0r The six degree theory

So, many mornings ago in french class (for this has been in my drafts for weeks) , I came across a piece of really interesting
information! We were introduced to this thing called the Theory of six degrees of separation. We were studying about networking when our teacher explained to us how it worked, in all the french we could understand. Now, you might already know about this (kudos to you) or you might not but, that’s no matter! Here goes.

Basically, the theory believes it is possible to make a connection with anyone in the world with no more than a chain of 5 acquaintances. For example,you can know a friend, who knows a friend, who knows a friend, who knows a friend, who will know Barack Obama. ( which seems too plausible and surreal to believe but go with it.)
Now, take a minute. And think about one person in the world, let it be anyone, whom you’d like to meet and now imagine that there could be only 5 or less relationships between a probable relationship between you and said person…
Fascinating, right?

The History: This theory was proposed by a Hungarian writer Frigyes Karinthy in the year 1929  in his short story called “Chains.” 

There have been a few experiments conducted on it with some positive and a few inconclusive results but it’s said that since the dawn of social networking sites, it is not only becoming more possible but also that these six degrees might be soon reducing, we have definitely been introduced to this concept before though in all those talks about the world shrinking, being able to connect with whomever you want with a few clicks and making strategic acquaintances, it appears to be quite popular.

This idea really excites me even though I don’t personally use any social media expect Snapchat because I choose not to get much involved in the virtual world, it has helped me make some really good friends in the past but something about the idea makes me sad and discontent as I feel more disconnected with the real world around me but those are my views, and anyway this isn’t a debate on the pros and cons of social media or internet is it, so  let’s <<rewind>> .

In reality, it makes me very hopeful about being connected to whoever is alive, today. Of course I’m not going to meet everyone there is but the idea and that possibility alone keeps me sanguine and content. That we are never really alone. And in a world like todays that does seem to be needed the most, unity.

A Fun Experiment: Chances are you’ve probably heard of Kevin Bacon, the Hollywood actor.A game was developed in 1994 where players had to connect Kevin Bacon with every actor in the film history in six or less steps. According to the results it was found that he could be linked with 12% of Hollywood at given time. And that is saying something.

I mean maybe this feels slightly creepy or  maybe I’m happy with the world becoming smaller and more accessible, I think personally I wouldn’t like the ease it brings in acquiring relationships. I’m an old soul when it comes to that I guess, but on the other hand it makes me so very excited too, how cool and how convenient it could be for us.

A Challenge: If this theory is as interesting to you as it has been to me, let me give you a challenge if you are up for it. So, make a group consisting people you know (may be your family or friends) and all of you will have to select a person you know well but the others have never heard of and ask them to make a connection with this person, making sure they take as few amount of steps as they can to get to the person. You obviously must tell them some general details about this person to help get on with it. This was you can see if the theory works, take a mean of the total steps taken by everyone and you get the “degree”. You get to make a new acquaintance, to widen your network and obtain a possible new friendship.

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I’m sorry about my irregular posting schedule, I do appreciate it when you still come back to read.
I hope you enjoy today! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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13 thoughts on “Between You and Me, there’s only 5 people, 0r The six degree theory

  1. Hi! I just saw your blog.

    This is a fascinating theory, but the harder I think on it, the more improbable it gets. Because the people you’re imagining you’re 6 relationships away from are probably well-known people (like Kevin Bacon) or anyway, people with social lives and healthy circles. But what of isolated refugees children on some corner of the world, who are probably connected only to the group they’re travelling with and no one else? I highly doubt they’re only five people away from me.
    Just something to think about!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is quite fascinating, I do understand that, I was faced with the same questions. But that’s the thing about this is that it is only a Theory, even the studies show that it can’t be applicable to everyone everywhere because there’s so many we can’t reach today so yeah, and if said theory was applicable to everyone (refugees children) it would honestly be a boon to humanity!

      Liked by 1 person

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