The reality of Facebook friends

A friend recently posted a status on Facebook about 2016 not being their year and how they lacked motivation to pursue their dreams. They felt as if they had been fighting to survive and had not been happy or content. And were realising who their true friends were. They finished their post by saying by 2017 they were going to reevaluate everything in their lives and their relationships with people.

Seeing the post made me think how many “friends” do we have on Facebook that we really know and are not just passing acquaintances who we met once and have never crossed paths again? How many people do we invite to see our lives that are complete strangers to us?

In 2015 Gemma Styles wrote an article where she said she uses Facebook differently from how she uses other social media, she only has people she knows personally.

Quite a good thing to do means your timeline when you scroll down is a lot less cluttered and the content you see is more likely to be more personable to you and your life.

But with that comes the question,who to delete to declutter your Facebook? Do you delete that one annoying annoying relative and their constant stream of baby photos and start a family argument? No best not. Utilise the hide notifications button for that. What about the girl you met at the queue in the book signing for your favourite author and have never seen again or spoken to since that day? Does she need to be privy to your thoughts and feelings via regular status updates like the one my friend posted. I think nearly everyone user on Facebook is guilty at some point of using a Facebook status as a ranting tool or their own personal diary. While a cathartic experience do we really need everyone knowing we are having a bit of a rubbish day?

Robin Dunbar, a professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford University, did a study to find out the connection between whether people have lots of Facebook friends and real friends.

Many people have hundreds of Facebook friends. But people can only really depend on four of them, on average.

He found that there was very little correlation between having friends on social networks and actually being able to depend on them, or even talking to them regularly.

The average person studied had around 150 Facebook friends. But only about 14 of them would express sympathy in the event of anything going wrong.

The average person said that only about 27 per cent of their Facebook friends were genuine.

Those numbers are mostly similar to how friendships work in real life, the research said.

How many friends on your friends list can you honestly say you care about and interact with regularly,all I know as part of my “New Year,New Me” resolution my friends list will be getting a lot smaller.



Written by Kelly McFarland

Likes to post in monochrome on Instagram.
Twitter: @kellymcf6
Instagram: @kellymcf6

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