It s a Small World After All !!!

It is a small world after all!!!!

It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears

It’s a world of hopes and a world of fears

There’s so much that we share that it’s time we’re aware

It’s a small world after all!!!!!

Disney made this song quite popular from the original version, it unarguably carries a simple message to perfectly match our current pandemic situation.

I always get puzzled at the concept of “Six degrees of Separation”- At least in a modern social networking world I can imagine, but how is it possible half a century ago?


The theory started sometime in early 1900’s as “Chains links” – With growing communication and travel, the friendship network would grow irrespective of the distance between two humans

True, Absolutely no denial here, obviously the world is shrinking with social network, but does it still mean we are just 6 degrees away from anyone else in the planet??

Let’s connect the dots and find an answer for small world experiment 🙂


What is six degree of separation?

The theory states that any inhabitant of the Earth could meet anyone in the world with a maximum of six or fewer mutual connections between them and another person.

cartoon image

So through just five other people, you’re effectively connected to the Queen of England, Donald Trump, Tom Cruise, or even a Mongolian sheep herder. I can still agree with any celebrities, but how is it possible to minimize our social path to reach someone in interior Mongolia or some tribal in PNG islands. Let put our thoughts here and explore.

Is there actually any science to back up this commonly cited theory?

Of course, the theory has a formula and it establishes the average number of people that every person may know.

According to the theory, each person in the world knows about 100 people among friends, family, and co-workers etc. Simple, you could have a quick look at the list of friends in any of the social network to realize that it isn’t only possible but quite common.

Six degrees 2

Well, if each one of our 100 acquaintances is connected somehow to another 100 people, then, the number would increase to 10,000 in just the second link in the chain. Of Course there is a possibility of multiple overlaps/Mutual connections but still it widens the network….Now we can imagine 5 more links and the number of known people in our network. When you do the math it actually goes beyond the total population of the planet.

Sounds like this is a plausible theory now, doesn’t it?

How does social media play a role in Six degree separation?

Obvious – It  dwindles the separation further with Facebook , Instagram and other social media from 6 to 3 or 4.2, We have nothing else than to agree with this theory. Yes I understand the power of Analytics though we have used very less percentage of all the data we have in hand. The result is amazing! It is just unbelievable how small the world is now.


Let’s agree “we are globally connected, even if it is tangentially”

The good side of being connected helps to establish a relationship with anyone which is incredibly useful for professional opportunities. Also, it’s sort of entertaining and amazing to think about how easy it is to build an easy 3 to 6 step path/map to reach just about anyone in this planet.

How is this 6/3 degree separation affecting our 6 feet social distance now ? 

Considering the pandemic right now, “Being in a small world , Why did people not care about it at the beginning?” For many of us, Covid-19 was something happening in a far away unknown land ,Wuhan, God knows which part of China it is or it only killed  people who are not immune, and we all failed to see the exponential growth/ the massive outbreak until it became impossible to ignore.

6feet away

Historically, We evolved as small tribes and are thus doomed to fail to fully consider anything beyond our immediate social circle. We care about our friends, and we kind of care about our friends’ friends, but anything more than two degrees is just some random person.

Think about fake news, not just social media where you and I can be NEWS  creator/editor, but even  24 hours news channels and printing media also broadcasts/publishes all types of  messages & news with a small disclaimer, blindly to attract viewers & readers. There are serious talk shows with 10 people debating about a forward message without any proven statistics but just to grab viewer’s attention by merely shouting at top of their voice (New trend in India)

Forget about the Bio-weapon and other interesting conspiracy theories about the outbreak, we are facing much stronger deadly weapon which is directly influencing peoples mind. People can now remotely sabotage centrifuges half a world away, a dangerous down side of a shrinking world.

We’re playing this very wild social experiment with ourselves where we have now become this global network. We don’t know what we’re doing. We’re not aware that the actions we take are rippling outward at a frightening velocity.

We are oblivious to its full impact in our day-to-day lives, but the network is still there. And if the network is only 6 or 3 degrees, as per our theories — Imagine the amount of attention we need to pay now.

Understand the effect of every action we do!!! STAY SAFE —- Not just from Corona Virus!! You know what I mean! Don’t you?

stay safe

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Sindhu says:

    Amazing akka.. Clear write up of current situation

    1. Thanks Sindhu !! 🙂

  2. Suguna says:

    Good article lavanya

    1. Thank you Suguna !

  3. Name says:


  4. Name says:

    Gud article!

  5. Gud article!

    1. Thanks Uma

  6. Name says:

    Very contextual and insightful . We all knew 6 degrees of separation and yet we Wuhan is in a far off land ! good perspective Lavanya

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