Small world

The small world theory suggests that we all have connections to other people, and while two people may not know each other, they might have a friend in common, so they have some kind of link between them. For example, if we have three people, Nicole, Dave, and Jessica and Nicole and Dave know each other, and Nicole and Jessica know each other, but Dave and Jessica don’t, they still have a connection because they share an acquaintance. If they were both at a party I wasn’t at and they started talking, chances are it might come up I was each of their friends. That is why we often hear people saying it is a small world when referring to someone they both know. It is pretty amazing to meet someone and realize you have a mutual acquaintance out of all the people in the world.

This picture shows how strong and weak ties are both helpful. It says Mary wants to buy a new car, but the strong ties she has as friends may not necessarily be experts when it comes to new cars, so the strong ties are able to give her the names to people they know, who are the weak ties.

Strong ties and weak ties are both important because everyone has both. A strong tie would be family, best friends, or people we are in relationships with. A weak tie is more like someone we don’t talk to often, so a friend of a friend. If I take 50 of my Facebook friends and ask them to name 5 of their best friends, chances are that out of the 5 friends they name, I would know at least some of them. We tend to have friendships with people we are similar to, so chances are that depending on if I have a strong tie or a weak tie to one of the original 50 people I ask, that we will have some similar friends. Both strong and weak ties are important because both give us connections to other people. While strong ties are usually who we have the strongest relationships with, weak ties are also important because they allow us to meet new people.

“Researchers have found evidence that all individuals on this planet can reach another through on average only five intermediaries.”(Yang, Keller & Zheng, 2017) Kevin Bacon has to do with six degrees of separation because of a college game that was created. The idea was to see how many people have a tie to Kevin Bacon. There is a website where you can enter another famous person’s name, and that number is how many links until they get to Kevin Bacon, by similar actors or movies. One of my favorite shows right now is Outlander, so the name I put in was Caitriona Balfe. Caitriona Balfe has a Bacon number of 2. I included a picture of how, along with the website.

This shows the Bacon number that Caitriona Balfe has to Kevin Bacon.




Yang, S., Zhang, L., & Keller, F. B. (2017). Social network analysis: Methods and examples. Los Angeles: Sage.

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