Theory of the Six Degrees of Separation  What is it? ▷ 2020

The theory of the six degrees of separation is based on the fact that through a chain of acquaintances, anyone can meet another just by interacting with 5 links or degrees.

It is said “degrees” to the number of contacts with whom the individual should engage in a conversation to meet an important new contact.

At the time this hypothesis was created, it was believed or assumed that only needed a total of 6 people so that it could be fulfilled. Although, currently thanks to social networks, the necessary number has changed and now it is believed that there are only 4 jumps apart for this to come true. Are you interested in the topic? Read on to find out more.

What is the Six Degrees of Separation Theory and how does it work?


This theory has as a fundamental idea that the number of known people grows exponentially through the number of friends in the chain. In such a way that only a small number of contacts are necessary for this set of relatives to become the entire human population.

That is to say, one person knows another and that person knows another, and so on. In such a way that a chain is created where all directly or indirectly are known or can be known.

A curious fact is that social networks, although we do not know, work under this same foundation of the conjecture of the six leaps of separation. Since to meet a new person, it is enough to have a friend in common, similar tastes, live in the same place or close to it. Even having people who live in the nearby area, even if they are not in direct contact with the new acquaintance.

Origin of the theory of the six degrees When and who raised this theory?

This assumption originated between 1929 and 1930 when the hungarian writer Frigyes karinthy formulated the theory of the six degrees.

Karinthy Frigyes

Which consists according to the idea of ​​Karinthy, that Anyone on Earth can be connected to anyone else on the same planet by a thread or a connection of acquaintances. Which do not have more than five intermediaries or connections between them. What would allow to meet almost anyone or communicate a message to a person through this network of contacts.

How have social networks changed the Theory of the 6 degrees of separation?

The change or the way social networks have changed it has been very significant, and it is considered that with the passing of time it will be even more affected.

It should be noted that when it was created, it took a long time for the emergence of the Internet and the networks themselves; which would undoubtedly make this somewhat smaller.

Something that we have seen over the years, as these platforms have multiplied their connections, so nowadays the leaps of separation between two people could be less.

For example, on the Facebook platform for the year 2008 this hypothesis handled a figure of 5.28 degrees of separation. Three years later, by 2011, the required amount or degrees of separation were 4.7.

degrees of separation on Facebook

By 2013 researchers from the National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan, They calculated that again the number had been reduced to 3.8 the average of the jumps of separation between people.

Not very different from platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram, that show people you may know based on the degrees of relationship or interests that unite them.

This leads us to think that we are closer than we think and that the world is smaller than we imagine, because a friend of your friend possibly knows a friend of other friends.

Which states that social media has decreased the number of people needed to meet another of some interest. Making it not impossible to contact that individual due to remoteness or other factors.

Is it possible to meet anyone through the theory of the 6 degrees?

It is possible to meet anyone through the theory of the 6 degrees

There is a great possibility to meet almost anyone in the world, through the 6 degree chain of contacts. However, the more famous or “important” the person is, the fewer the possibilities.

That is, if you wanted to meet the President of your country and you don’t have the right contacts, it will be impossible. But, you can contact other people to help you reach it. What helps you in many of these cases is that your list of intermediaries is larger.

If you have close people or close contacts to the president, the chances of being able to contact him increase.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will be of great help to more members of the community. Thank you! 😉

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