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  • 1. Influence of Social Networking on the Six Degrees of Separation
    By Nicholas Kwan
    Image by lukezhang
  • 2. The term “six degrees of separation” was coined in the late 1960s from a Stanley Milgram experiment
    Image by tikaro
  • 3. Milgram gave 300 letters to people asking them to a particular target by mailing the letter to a friend closer to the target
    Image by bettybl
  • 4. Milgram found that the average chain of people it took to deliver the letter was only 6 people
    Image by ak23
  • 5. In 2006, Microsoft tried to prove this theory and studied over 30 billion electronic conversations over MSN messenger
    Image by indircom
  • 6. By looking at roughly HALF the world’s instant-messaging network only, it was concluded that any two strangers are distanced (on average) by 6.6 degrees
    Image by roebedo
  • 7. HOWEVER…..the people we would send mail or the people we would instantly message is VERY SMALL compared to…..
    Image by bassie
  • 8. …Our Facebook friends
  • 9. can help reduce the number of degrees it takes for 2 strangers to be connected
    Image by
  • 10. Many of us today have a lot more social media friends than “real” friends
    Image from
  • 11. The average user has 130 Facebook friends
    but most of us know at least 1 person with over 1000 friends
  • 12. Social media friends today have become one time acquaintances or people we don’t talk to anymore
    Image by tychay
  • 13. Facebook even helps with this process by suggesting people you may know
  • 14. Facebook created an application to calculated the degree of separation between people
    Image by Mehfuz
  • 15. The average separation between people was 5.73 degrees – nearly a full person lower than Microsoft’s experiment
    Image by em’ila
  • 16. This number is despite the fact that only 5.8 million people used the app which excludes nearly 6 billion people in the world
  • 17. In 2008, O2 performed a study that revealed the “average person is connected by just 3 degrees within a shared ‘interest’ or social group instead of 6”-Don Reisinger
  • 18. With the growing use of social networking, links between strangers are much closer today than in the 1960s
    image by natalialove
  • 19. We see a gradual decline in degrees from the 1960s to the present day
    Image by lau-rain
  • 20. Who knows what the future will hold but I’m sure it will bring us closer together
    Image by luzzu
  • 21. Credits
    All images are licensed under the Creative Commons Non-Commercial Share-Alike 3.0 agreement and sourced from flickr