We are so close, less than 4 degrees separating you and me!

Eman Yasser Daraghmi, Shyan-Ming Yuan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nowadays, the glory of social networking sites is unprecedented. Thus, we are so close; the world is even smaller than you thought; a friend of your friend probably knows a friend of others friend; Facebook shrunk the gap between us. The six degrees of separation theory proposed in 1967 stated that we are all just six degrees of separation apart. This paper addresses the research problem of identifying the degree of separation from a different viewpoint by considering not only the degree of separation between two normal-persons or famous-persons, but also between two persons with very rare-special features. We re-evaluate and extend the six degrees of separation theory by using a real social searching Facebook tool "We R So Close". Experiments were performed on Facebook platform; and the graph database was used to store the collected data. Results add a new phase to the research that cemented the phrase "six degrees of separation", it reported that the average number of acquaintances separating any two people no matter who they are even with rare-special features, i.e. those who work in rare jobs, is not six but 3.9.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-285
Number of pages13
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume30
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Facebook
  • Graph database
  • Six degrees of separation theory
  • Small world experiment
  • Special-rare features
  • We are so close

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