Six Degrees of Separation? More like 4.74

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A new study has found that Facebook’s 721 million users are separated from each other by 4.74 friends, blasting the six degrees of separation notion off the island.

According to the New York Times, scientists at Facebook and the University of Milan reported that the average number of acquaintances separating any two people in the world is not six but 4.74. The original 1967 study from which the term was originally coined used 296 volunteers who  sent postcards through friends of friends. The new experiment used a series of algorithms to calculate the distance between random Facebook users.

Of course Gawker points out that most of us don’t necessarily know all of our “friends.” But in a networked world, what does it really mean to “know” your “friends?” We’re just psyched to be almost one and a half people closer to Kevin Bacon.

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