We all are particular about how many Facebook friends we have, some even believe the number of friends they have signifies how popular they are. Well ask yourself this question: How many of your Facebook friends do you regularly chat with? Answering this question will help you understand what we really mean.
Thanks to Facebook, we easily connect to our long-lost friends. We see their constant updates and achievements, and support them by hitting the “like” button that lets them know that we care just enough to do the bare minimum. But recent study has revealed that even if we have thousands of friends on Facebook, we can only probably count a handful of them who are really engaging. The research stated that roughly 97% of your Facebook friends couldn’t care less about you. This is revealed by a popular anthropologist and psychologist, Robin Dunbar.
According to him, the average person has 155.2 Facebook friends but when studying the reaction to an “emotional crisis,” only 4.1 of those Facebook friends could be counted on. And only 13.6 Facebook BFF’s will express any form of sympathy for friends who are dealing with difficult issues.
This basically shows how few online friends actually care . It also means that in order to maintain friendships, we’re going to do more than just liking a friend’s post or status or say our yearly “happy birthday! “.
Younger people tend to have a larger online social network but as they grow older, they begin to have more friends in real life. “A likely explanation for this difference probably lies in the fact that social networks encourage promiscuous ‘friending’ of individuals who often have very tenuous links (to you),” Dunbar said.
According to engadget, the study reveals that everyone has limited time and emotional capability for social interaction either online or offline. One big advantage that Social network offers is that they allow busy folks to touch base with people and keep friendships on life support.
To this however, Dumber said “that alone may not be sufficient to prevent friendships eventually dying naturally if they are not occasionally reinforced by face-to-face interaction,”.
Robin Dunbar was the one who found a connection between primate brain size and average social group size. He proposed that humans can only comfortably maintain 150 stable relationships. He further proposed that language may have arisen as a “cheap” means of social grooming, allowing early humans to maintain social cohesion efficiently. Without language, Dunbar speculates, humans would have to expend nearly half their time on social grooming, which would have made productive, cooperative effort nearly impossible.