Six Degrees of Separation is No More

The degree of separation is rapidly shrinking

Six degrees of separation was the topic of the 90’s.  Everyone was calculating how many people they needed to know before they knew somebody that worked with actor Kevin Bacon.   Yet, do you realize the degree of separation has narrowed?  Studies now show that it’s not 6 degrees, but 4.74 degrees.

Things we are doing or saying are now spread faster and more openly, uncensored around the world.  Look at how many people have access to social networks via cell phone and the ability to quickly upload information and share data.  In times of disasters social networks have become a valuable resource for families, friends, and News organizations. Scandals are now reported faster and with more criticisms, and accusations occur before all the facts are gathered.  Jay Cutler’s injury during the NFL Division Playoff game last year had professional athletes tweeting comments, fueling more comments that were speculations, not truths.  Many of these athletes, after learning the truth, recanted their tweets and made public apologies.

What we can learn from this is that we now live in a time when everything we do or say can be captured and quickly transmitted.  Microsoft’s present commercial depicts a family having fun with a video game, the father participates in the fun and the next thing you know the silliness is on YouTube.  Seems harmless, but what is the father job?  Lawyer, Negation, Community Leader, Politician, Athlete, Doctor, Chamber of Commerce President, or somebody who’s going through a nasty divorce.  What perception will this video give the public of this individual?

The degrees of separation are closer and news travels faster. The people whom you want to see your video and messages are only clicks away, but also so are the people you want to protect your image from. Be smart with your social media posts and the degrees of separation will seem like miles, not inches.