Six Degrees of Separation

Six degrees of Separation: the theory that anyone on earth can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances with no more than five intermediaries.

If you click on search engines like Google or Yahoo!, you would find many websites discussing about this theory, which, to myself, is proven really true.

I went to Bali last year and met my friend from UNSW Sydney, Aboth. Aboth was a project manager for a hotel renovation project in Seminyak, and promised to meet me in one bar, where I hung out with my colleagues. But when Aboth arrived, I was surprised because Aboth knows my boss. Turns out they went to the same Uni and they used to hang out together.

A good example of this six degrees of separation is this. My ex-roommate is now dating a guy from Singapore. I’ve heard about him a few times but she tried to make it secretive so I didn’t push her to tell me the story. And then last Sunday she opened up and told me about him. What surprised me was this guy is a friend of Pascal’s. Pascal has just moved to Jakarta and was introduced to Melly by Melly’s best friend. The guy-from-Singapore is Melly’s best friend’s friend as well. And apparently Melly had dated him as well in a very brief period. Look at the above diagram, the red lines indicate the ‘love affairs’, blue lines are for first-degree friends, yellow lines are for second-degree friends. Amazing isn’t it? 11 millions people in Jakarta and 4.2 millions people in Singapore yet somehow my ex-rommate and the Guy-from-Singapore are connected even before they met.

I went to Jakarta’s Highland Gathering 4 years ago and met this guy in one of the private booths. He took out his name card and I couldn’t believe when I read the address. It’s the office of my first client’s! It turned out he’s working as my client’s partner. Of course after that we exchanged gossips about my client/his partner!

Then Melly asked me to meet up with her friends on a lazy Sunday afternoon. When I met them I had a feeling that I’ve seen them somewhere. It took less than half an hour to unravel the mystery, that they worked for my first client. Of course I’ve seen them working in their cubicles while I was busy fixing and renovating the office! And of course, they know my new friend-from-Highland Gathering, who shared the office with them. Small world indeed.

Friendster naturally becomes a verification of the six degrees of separation theory. I saw Kemal’s profile from Mercy, and was surprised to find out that we went to the same highschool! After a long discussion about high school, I found out that he’s actually a cousin of Nonie’s (who, surprisingly again, went to the same high school!), and I know Nonie from my boyfriend and she’s become a good friend of mine. PS: she knows my friend-from-Highland Gathering too.

We have 6,535,409,336 people on earth. The list can go endlessly. Just click on someone’s profile in friendster, and you would see how you are connected.



  1. hi,

    i have been in indonesia for 10 years, i have never expexcted how the netwok and relation between men and women could be so weird, so wide,so fast. .. in here every things are possible, hehehe.. as every one know every one.
    even atfer 10 years it s still suprising me about all thse kind of affair ,,, so carzy hehehe, welcome to indonesia

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