Are your Facebook friends actually friends? A new study from Oxford University discovered the following:
- Most people can actually depend on 4 of their Facebook friends – no matter how many they have
- A tiny minority of online friends express sympathy in the event something negative occurred
- “There is a cognitive constraint on the size of social networks that even the communication advantages of online media are unable to overcome”
- “In practical terms, it may reflect the fact that real (as opposed to casual) relationships require at least occasional face-to-face interaction to maintain them”
I don’t know about you, but I make a clear distinction between Facebook friends and friends in real life. To be sure, some have transitioned from online to actual friendships. But others have not – and I expect that some never will. There are others that I eager hope to meet in real life.
The bottom line of the study: make sure to understand the critical and important difference.
H/T The Independent
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