4.74 Degrees of Separation: How Close Social Media Brings Us to Each Other
Recently, Facebook conducted a study with a university in Milan and found that any two strangers are connected by 4.7 people. When Stanley Milgram, a social psychologist at Yale University, conducted a similar study in the 60′s, he found that there were “6 degrees of separation” — where the common phrase comes from.
What does this mean for your career? It means that it’s easier than ever to be connected to a stranger. A stranger that may hold the keys to helping you make your next career step.
Now, just because you are connected to someone it doesn’t mean that this person is going to give you whatever you need. You have to build solid relationships among those 4.7 people to ensure a strong connection that is likely to translate to something meaningful.
It should also make networking easier for you as you now know that you are likely connected to this person. A stranger is not really a stranger anymore. It also makes it crucial to add new contacts to your social media so that you can easily see those connections. In LinkedIn, you can look up someone and it will tell you how you are connected to them. You’ll sometimes find that you are less than 4.7 contacts away from knowing this person. In addition, the more people that you know–the fewer connections it will take.
Next time, you are in a room full of “strangers” you can now consider them 4.7 people away from being “friends.”