Science Says Having Lots Of Facebook Friends Isn’t Good For You

Science Says Having Lots Of Facebook Friends Isn’t Good For You

Social Media has come to stay and it has become a major part of, not just our personal lives but, our businesses as well. The phenomenal rise of social media has given birth to lot of things– some desirable, some not so good. It has come to a point where your social media success is measured by how much friends you have on Facebook, how many likes your status updates gets and the number of people following you on Twitter.

If you feel jealous of the social media big guns on your friends list, you need to reconsider as it’s actually a good thing to have only a few friends on social media. Those people with active social lives often have an offline life that’s in complete contrast with what you see online. Just because some has thousands of Facebook doesn’t mean they have a better social life than you do.

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A new study has revealed that having lots of “friends” on Facebook doesn’t really mean having much friends in real life. The study was carried out by Robin Dunbar, an anthropologist and evolutionary psychologist at the University of Oxford. He tested something he called “urban myth” which is all about having more friends online than in real life. According to the report:

This suggests that the constraints that limit the number of friends we can have in the everyday offline world also limit the number we have online.I suggest that this is because friendships ultimately require occasional face-to-face interaction if they are to be maintained over time.

The study suggests that an average person has about 150 virtual friends. Dunbar writes:

Given the extensive use of social media, the question as to whether Internet-based social networking sites have a positive or negative impact on social relationships has been much debated. Cyberpessimists have argued that the Internet has detrimental effects on our social life. In contrast, cyberoptimists have insisted that the effects have been beneficial in many different ways.

The report shows that social media may play an important role in keeping friendship alive but it is never enough since real friendship requires occasional face-to-face interaction. As far as befriending strangers on social media goes, perhaps keeping it to a minimum should be considered. There’s no real benefit in having lots of strangers in your circle. There are people with thousands of friends online who actually live boring lives offline.
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