Sorry guys, but we have some pretty upsetting news about your Facebook friends.
According to a new study, most of the people on your page don’t care about you and probably wouldn’t even sympathise with your problems. Erm, harsh.
So if you’re feeling good about your bulging friends list, you may want to look away now…
Robin Dunbar – a professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford University – has been researching whether there’s a connection between Facebook friends and ‘real-life’ friends.
Depressingly, he’s found that there’s actually very little correlation between being popular on social networks and having people you can actually depend on, or even talk to regularly.
Which is quite an unpleasant discovery, isn’t it?
For those in Robin’s sample group, the average amount of Facebook friends was 150.
However, he found that only FOUR of those would stick around if their ‘pal’ was having an emotional crisis. Nice.
14 would express some kind of sympathy, but that’s still an incredibly low number.
Overall, the average person said that only about 27% of their Facebook friends were genuine. Now, that is similar to how friendships work in real life.
But with people amassing large numbers of connections on their social media pages, there’s a chance they may have been fooled into believing they have more close pals than they really do.
Professor Dunbar says: ‘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.’
We think it may be time to get off our computers…