Are we more likely to get a sensible answer from within our own circle of friends than from a customer service team?
Does anyone remember a play called “6 Degrees of Separation”?
I watched it in the West End years before Facebook launched and all through the growing popularity of social media have often recalled the theory which, according to Wikipedia, is “the existential premise that everyone in the world is connected to everyone else in the world by a chain of no more than six acquaintances, thus, “six degrees of separation””.
A few weeks ago, we posed a question to Tesco about getting that sticky glue off their jars so we could re-use them for homemade jam and chutney. We never got a sensible answer from them on either Twitter or Facebook but we did get several answers from friends as well as from helpful people who we don’t know. I tried one of the suggestions from a relative and bingo – job done.
It makes me wonder whether the Tesco customer service team is just a PR exercise, poorly resourced, unknowledgeable or whether they are just less likely to know the answer to something I need because they have less in common with me than my own connections do. Mark Zuckerberg recently described this phenomenon as living in a bubble – he was talking about fake news and how it proliferates because people trust posts from people they know. In that case it had a negative impact but in ours it’s positive and it also shows just how powerful social media can be.