Sex & Relationships

Here's How Many of Your Facebook Friends Actually Care About You

According to a new study.

According to a new study, a large majority of them don't care about you

Robin Dunbar, of Oxford University, set out to discover if someone with a lot of friends on Facebook also had a lot a friends in real life. After analyzing over 3,000 people, researchers found that Facebook users would only consider 28% of their social connections to be "true friends."

The average person analyzed had about 150 friends, but "only 13.6 ever express sympathy" when something is going wrong, according to tech site Engadget. That number is reduced even further—to 4 people—when it comes to friends who would be there during a crisis. Those figures generally stayed the same, regardless of  how many Facebook friends someone had.

The study also claims that Facebook connections break down into circles. As The Sunday Morning Herald reports:

According to the professor, we tend to have five intimate friends, 15 best friends, 50 good friends, 150 friends, 500 acquaintances and 1500 people we can recognize on the site.


From his research, Dunbar developed "Dunbar's Number," the limit of how many friends only can realistically have. So, according to the scientist, it's not possible to have more than 150 friends. 

The key to real friendship, of course, lies outside of your computer screen. "Real (as opposed to casual) relationships require at least occasional face-to-face interaction to maintain them." Without it, your closest friend will eventually become acquaintances.

This story appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors. 

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