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Degrees of Separation

I didn’t bother with my Friends Day video from Facebook, but I did like their post that told you how many degrees of separation you have between yourself and everyone else in the world. Apparently, it’s no longer 6, Mr. Guare.


That’s how many degrees of separation we have between ourselves and everyone else in the world. It drops a little lower to 3.46 if both people live in the US. Mark Zuckerberg is separated only by 3.17 degrees, as am I. Isn’t that weird? I have the same web as Mark Zuckerberg? That doesn’t sound right. But there it is.

How far apart are you from the rest of the world?

degrees of separation



1 Catwoman73 { 02.16.16 at 9:21 am }

3.4 for me! ๐Ÿ™‚

2 Kathy { 02.16.16 at 9:34 am }

3.13 ๐Ÿ™‚

3 Valery Valentina { 02.16.16 at 9:48 am }

Mhm, I do not live in the US and I do not have FB. I guess that means I’m stuck at 6 ๐Ÿ˜‰
Or, since I “know” you and you are on 3.17 that would be 4.17 for me?

4 Noemi { 02.16.16 at 9:50 am }

It seems crazy to me that living in the same country brings the degree down so little. I would expect it to be a more significant boost.

How could I possibly be separated by 3.57 degrees to someone living on the frozen steps of Mongolia?

5 Lori Lavender Luz { 02.16.16 at 10:01 am }


How is it that sitting here in my home, alone, doing solitary things in solitude, I get confirmation of my worldwide connectedness?

6 loribeth { 02.16.16 at 10:28 am }

3.45. I find that a little closer than I would expect. Although I have had a couple of examples of finding mutual friends showing up in my FB friends’ feeds. For example, it turned out a woman we knew from our pg loss support group (K) coached soccer & was FB friends with a woman I used to work with (L). L. promptly sent me a friend request and of course wanted to know how I knew K — which was an interesting conversation, since she had absolutely no idea that I had lost a baby. I’ve noticed that one of dh’s cousins’ wives is friends with a friend of L’s. A sister of one of dh’s work & FB friends is friends with one of his cousins. And a high school friend saw a public post I had commented on from another FB friend… another commenter was one of her cousins!

I haven’t had my DNA analyzed for genealogical purposes yet, but I’m tempted. Doing genealogy research has made me aware that I’m probably rubbing elbows every day with tons of distant cousins I don’t know. Henry Louis Gates uses DNA on his “Finding Your Roots’ show on PBS — and I love it when he finds a connection between two separate guests (would you believe Eva Longoria shares DNA with YoYo Ma??!).

Whatever the degree, I do believe the world is much smaller than we think it is.

7 Cristy { 02.16.16 at 10:40 am }

I love data science in action. Though one thing that intrigues me about the graphic above is the huge hole in the middle. The lines that don’t cross from one end to the other. What does that hole represent? Even though we are connected, are we more closely connected with some than with others? And to what extent?

8 Persnickety { 02.16.16 at 4:39 pm }

I have noticed a few of those “I have too many friends on FB and if you don’t comment I will delete you posts”, so I suspect my in attention to those has reduced my connections (I am contemplating a status saying I comment infrequently and never see those posts”)
My first cross friend connectioncame via people working in Korea as English teachers- I have never been to Korea, but it seems I know people who have!

9 Justine { 02.16.16 at 10:14 pm }

3.21. Interesting … I wonder if that’s *because* of Facebook?

10 Jessie Francis { 02.17.16 at 12:30 am }

Mine was also Pi

11 Jess { 02.17.16 at 3:01 pm }

Mine was 3.38. So fascinating, this. It really is interesting that the internet makes it possible to know so many people across the globe and to connect with so many people you otherwise might not have known (I think of friends of friends who I connected with because we saw similar interests or had similar struggles or whatever). I mean, “connect” can be kind of superficial in this way (on facebook I mean), but it really does seem like the world is shrinking.

12 deathstar { 02.20.16 at 12:28 pm }

Mine was 3.47. Yeah, I’m not buying it.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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