Facebook research results: Real vs. “Virtual” friends

In a new research study unveiled at the British Association Festival of Science, it seems that people who have oodles of Facebook “friends” have in fact the same number of close friends as those who do not use social networking sites. I have a suspicion that a lot more research needs to be done in this area, with studies probably already underway, to investigate this phenomenon.

One of the more interesting items this study revealed is the active “defriending” process in social networking sites rather than the gradual losing touch that happens in face-to-face (F2F) relationships.

I wonder what other things may be learned by following this research further? Perhaps that more casual friendships may effect F2F relationships? Perhaps geographic proximity may play less of a role in social relationships, thereby benefiting the travel industry? I wonder if this will positively or negatively affect cultural, religious, or socioeconomic sensitivity? What role will education play in this? How about online crime, personality deception, racketeering, and predatory behaviors?

Oh, what brave new world . . .