Friday, June 28, 2013

It's a Small World After All

A "degree of separation" is a measure of social distance between two people. Six degrees of separation is the theory that each one of us is connected to each other with only six, or less, people between us.  Like a friend of a friend of mine, knows someone who knows someone who knows you.  Sometimes those chains are much shorter.

I've run into this sort of thing on Facebook a couple of times now.
A couple of months ago the mother of some of our ex-karate students became a "friend" of mine of on Facebook.  Immediately I saw that we had one friend in common, so I checked to see who that was.  It happened to be someone I've never actually met, but have been talking to online since well before Windows took over the computer world. We used to chat by way of the BBS forums back in the 1990's, and have kept in touch one way or another ever since.  It turns out these two women were neighbours and good friends in BC when they were very young. Both now live here in Ontario with me.

More recently a lady I've known for 36 years decided it would be interesting if each of her Facebook friends told us where they were actually born.  I spotted someone who listed Campbellford as her birthplace.  My Mom was from Campbellford, and I still have an aunt there.  I took the conversation into the background, and used the e-mail system to tell her who my uncle was, as I felt he would have been well known there.  It only took a moment before she told me her mom is his cousin.  That meant we were cousins too.  Then I tried to determine which side of my Mom's family we were related on, and by then she had her mom chatting with me also.  It turns out the Mother's grandmother was my grandfather's sister.  On top of that, the Mother said, her mother's grandfather was married to someone from the other side of my mom's family.  So here I have two new cousins, connected to me through both sides of my mother's family.  Actually, there are more cousins out there, since the girl I first found on Facebook has a couple of brothers.  The fun could just be starting.

I asked what the connection was between the girl from Campbellford, and my local friend.  It seems the met through some game online.  It's just by chance then, that I've now gotten connected to this branch of my family.  After chatting a bit we found there are several other coincidences running through our families. It's like a pattern or something.

And I really had to laugh when the Mother left a note on my page last night that mentioned someone else she found on my friends list.  Apparently he is her ex-father-in-law's grandson.  I only know him through the martial arts but it all goes to prove, we are all connected more closely than we seem to think.

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