Monday 25 September 2017

We still only keep a few close friends despite age of social media

Social media user
Social media user

Steve Connor

People still only have a handful of really close friends who they spend time and effort on, even though their wider social network may include hundreds of casual contacts, according to a study of human communication in the internet age.

Each person also has a unique "social signature", which they tend to keep through life by dropping old friends when new ones are made.

Most people tend to have about five to eight really intimate friends, and they keep this inner circle fairly constant by loosening the ties binding older contacts when new ones are tightened, said Felix Reed-Tsochas, of the Said Business School at Oxford University.

"Although social communication is now easier than ever, it seems that our capacity for maintaining emotionally close relationships is finite," said Dr Reed-Tsochas, one of the researchers whose study is published in the journal 'Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences'. "What holds true in all cases is that at any point individuals are able to keep up close relationships with only a small number of people." (© Independent News Service)

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