Facebook ran the numbers and concluded that we are all much closer than the traditional “six degrees of separation,” reports The New York Times.
The social media giant released a report on its blog Thursday, February 4, announcing “each person in the world” is separated from every other by “an average of three and a half other people.”
The number six in “six degrees” generally refers to the number of links in the chain of acquaintances, seven people in all. The phrase proposes that between any two strangers there are at most five intermediaries that link them together.
So according to Facebook, depending on how you want to do the counting, the true number, referring to intermediaries or to links, is either 3.57 or 4.57 degrees of separation. (Facebook’s post is a little confusing on this point, seeming to use multiple definitions of “degrees.”)
[H/T New York Times]