Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

This is how many of your Facebook friends actually like you

inbetween.jpg

How many friends are you stashing away on Facebook? A few hundred? A few thousand?

How many of those 'connected' people would you actually depend on in moment of emotional crisis? Does your online pool of mates supply you with more "true friendships" than the offline world ever could?

That's the question that Robin Dunbar, professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford University, set out to answer with his recent study of social media.

Dunbar looked at a sample of 3,375 Facebook users aged between 18 and 65. The average number of friends was 150, but when asked how many of those were "genuine" friends, the answer dropped to an average of around 27.6 percent.

As to how many of those friends they would be able to rely on when personal crap hit the figurative fan, the number dwindled even further - to an average of 4.1. Some 13.6 friends would express sympathy. 

"Analyses of traffic in online environments such as Facebook and Twitter reproduce rather faithfully both the nested structure of the inner layers of offline networks and their typical interaction frequencies," writes Dunbar - which, in plain English, means that online tools such as Facebook and Twitter haven't caused all of us to suddenly gain more "real" friends than before the days of the web.

But I've got over a thousand friends on Facebook - and I'm definitely close to more than four of them, you may well think. According to Dunbar, you might just be more flexible in your understanding of "friend".

"Respondents who had unusually large networks did not increase the numbers of close friendships they had, but rather added more loosely defined acquaintances into their friendship circle simply because most social media sites do not allow one to differentiate between these layers."

So, don't start thinking that you've got an army of faithful buddies based on your Facebook or Twitter count. Friendship hasn't changed in the digital age.

[Via: CNet]

(Image: Rex)

Related

shutterstock_236445235 (1).jpg

This is how much you spend charging your smartphone every year

kylieandjason.jpg

10 things nobody tells you about getting married

shutterstock_250627222.jpg

The most outrageous banned apps from the App Store

Comments

More

NASA is going to send a spacecraft up to "touch the sun"

Hope it's wearing oven gloves

by Gary Ogden
30 May 2017

A man has used his fidget spinner to like EVERYBODY on Tinder

Where's the quality control, though?

by Gary Ogden
25 May 2017

This new emoji tool tells you which are still cool and which are lame

Less 💅, more 🍆

by Emily Reynolds
24 May 2017

You can now buy the revamped Nokia 3310 in the UK

The retro phone you know and love is back (kind of)

by Matt Tate
24 May 2017

Nintendo respond to touching thank you letter from a blind fan

"We want to keep making games that everyone can have fun playing"

by Matt Tate
24 May 2017

Secret rules on what Facebook allows you to post have been revealed

And it's a pretty confused state of affairs

by Dave Fawbert
22 May 2017

Stephen Hawking reckons we only have 100 years left on Earth

Anyway, happy Friday!

by Tom Mendelsohn
19 May 2017

Watch a young Mark Zuckerberg discover he's got into Harvard

His dad is a lot more excited than he is

by Tom Mendelsohn
19 May 2017

Nintendo have removed a gesture deemed to be offensive from Mario Kart

Up yours, Yoshi

by Matt Tate
18 May 2017

This is rumoured to be the iPhone 8's finished design

Bye bye bezels (maybe)

by Matt Tate
18 May 2017