Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Six degrees of separation...

The first time I heard about the concept of ‘The six degrees of separation’ was soon after I joined Facebook. A friend had sent the ‘Six Degrees’ Facebook application which calculates the distance between people on the network. As I disliked having lots of applications on my profile, I did not accept it, but read up on ‘Six degrees of Separation’. It states that everyone in the world on an average are separated from everyone else through six other people. Being the ‘die hard’ Bon Jovi fan that I am, I remember thinking, hmmm… I wonder if I can connect to him in six levels…

Just yesterday as I was chatting to a colleague I found out that yes I could! Turned out that the son of another colleague knows Bon Jovi’s eldest daughter Stephanie as they attend the same school!!! So that means I’m connected to Bon Jovi in 4 levels!

When she mentioned it, I just thought, wow the world really is growing smaller! With many of us having travelled on studies or work or at least knowing others who have travelled all over the world it’s turning into one big global village day by day.

With the advent of social networking tools such as Facebook, twitter and linkedIn and Skype it’s easier than ever to keep in touch across the miles too… the physical distance between people is getting less and less relevant, after returning back to Sri Lanka and moving to our own house (more on my new home and work on a later post) we still have not been to see our neighbors due to busy schedules, but have managed to at least send a message or email to most of my friends in Switzerland and Cambridge. I know more about my friends on FB living it different countries than about my aunties or uncles in SL who are not on FB!

I have over 600 friends on FB and on linkedIn 250 direct connections with over 3 million connections 3 degrees away. At this rate it does sound like I can connect to anyone in the world (at least the part of the world that is online) if I were to look at 6 degrees away! Of course this wouldn’t work with the many people living in isolated or rural areas, who haven’t had the opportunity or the interest in travelling outside their towns, and who may not know many people. But for many others, even if they have not travelled, they would know someone who has, and can be connected to that person’s network.

What I've also come to realise  is that even these social networks, friendships across the miles all run on the basic principles of any relationship, you need to give before you can expect to receive.  You have to be a connector yourself, when others need help, and then often help comes your way when you need it. Whether in person or across the miles, lasting relationships are all about keeping in touch and being interested in the other person, its not only about you... For me this network has been invaluable in my last few vagabond years, from putting me in touch with people in cities I’ve visited, to giving job advice or forwarding CVs when I was searching for a job. When I first went to Geneva I stayed with a couple introduced through my father's friends friend.  Another cool fact is considering how we can connect to almost anyone if we go through a few degrees is that someone in your network is bound to know something about anything you can think of!

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Blogger SilentSahan said...

Its really good . Keep on writing ... :)

( please Remove the word verification )

10:44 am, August 05, 2013  

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