Life of a Traveler: Small world, Shrinking world, Six degrees of separation

Six degrees of separation is the idea that all living things and everything else in the world is six or fewer steps away from each other so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps. It was originally set out by Frigyes Karinthy in 1929 and popularized in an eponymous 1990 play written by John Guare.

No longer limited strictly to academic or philosophical thinking, the notion of six degrees recently has become influential throughout popular culture. Further advances in communication technology – and particularly the Internet – have drawn great attention to social networks and human interconnectedness. As a result, many popular media sources have addressed the term. The following provide a brief outline of the ways such ideas have shaped popular culture.  


Facebook’s data team released two papers in November 2011 which document that amongst all Facebook users at the time of research (721 million users with 69 billion friendship links) there is an average distance of 4.74. Probabilistic algorithms were applied on statistical metadata to verify the accuracy of the measurements. It was also found that 99.91% of Facebook users were interconnected, forming a large connected component.  


The LinkedIn professional networking site operates the degree of separation one is away from a person with which he or she wishes to communicate. On LinkedIn, one’s network is made up of 1st-degree, 2nd-degree, and 3rd-degree connections and fellow members of LinkedIn Groups. In addition, LinkedIn notifies the user how many connections they and any other user have in common.


So next time when you travel alone as digital nomad and run into problems abroad, just check, if you don’t have any “friend of a friend” connection in that country which can help you.    Or just order an emergency service before you travel – If you want to know more get in touch with us.