The idea of small world theory relates to the idea that while two people may not know each other, they might share acquaintances, meaning they have a connection to each other. We have many connections and sometimes we don’t realize we know someone until we realize that we have mutual friends. That is why we hear people saying it’s a small world when we realize a friend might know someone else that we know. An example would be when I started at my new job, there is someone who works there who knows one of my friends, and it really is a small world when we think about it!
We have strong and weak ties in our everyday lives. A strong tie would be our immediate family members and our close friends who we see often. A weak tie would be a friend we don’t talk to often or people we know but we don’t see each other on a regular basis. “Our acquaintances (weak ties) are less likely to be socially involved with one another than our close friends (strong ties).”(Kadushin, 2012) We have stronger ties to people we have relationships with and they often have similarities to us, it makes sense that usually our close friends have a lot of the same interests as we do. A weak tie means they have less of a relationship.
This picture shows the difference between a strong and a weak tie. Strong ties are closer together and weaker ties are further apart. https://www.uloop.com/news/view.php/92849/The-Importance-of-Networking-With-Wea
A strong tie and a weak tie are just as important to each other, they have different roles in our lives but they are still relationships. Many of my Facebook friends are people that I just know either from school or work but it doesn’t mean that I talk to them everyday and have a strong relationship with them but they are still important because I have a connection to them in some way. There are others who I do see mostly everyday and they are the strong ties in my life.
Six degrees of separation says that we can be linked to any one person by six people. “A degree of separation measures a social distance between people. You are one degree away from everyone you know, two degrees away from everyone they know.”(Smith, 2008) This is where Kevin Bacon comes into it. The idea was to link actors in six degrees or less to Kevin Bacon by looking at movies they had been in together or had the same co-stars.
This picture shows all the different actors who have a tie to Kevin Bacon. https://luckyottershaven.com/2016/05/19/six-degrees-of-separation/
Kadushin, C. (2012). Understanding social networks: theories concepts and findings. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Smith , D. (2008, August 02). Microsoft proves there are just six degrees of separation between us. Retrieved September 17, 2017, from https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2008/aug/03/internet.email