Yet another attempt to prove the six degrees of separation theory (which suggests there are only a handful of people between you and anyone else in the world) has found that there is an average of 6.6 steps between any two people who use Microsoft’s instant messaging. The survey tracked 30 billion instant messages between 180 million people around the world during the month of June 2006, roughly half of the world’s instant messaging traffic at that time. While the largest separation between any two people was 29 steps, the study found that 78 percent of people could be connected in seven steps or less. The last experiment of this nature carried out in 2003 found that it took between five and seven steps to find a stranger by contacting their acquaintances by e-mail. (MSNBC)

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