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 . . .   

5 thoughts on “Facebook research results: Real vs. “Virtual” friends

  1. Jeffrey…Interesting results. Did the study also include imaginary friends? If so, how did the imaginary cohort factor into the final tabulation? Also, were different sub-categories utilized for the field work (fair weather friends, best friends, sundry acquaintances, girl/boy friends, etc)?

  2. What you’re smelling is the pungent odor of taxpayers’ dollars fermenting in the hot sun of Inanegrantland. I propose we collectively fund a study of funded studies. A simple numerical scale of validity could be incorporated to gauge results. Hypothetically speaking, a score of 10 would indicate a given funded study merits time and financial resources, as well as deeming it valuable in some way for the greater pursuit of knowledge. Similarly, a score of 0 would succinctly label a given funded study as absolute worthless bullshit. Those academics/research scientists, etc. who proved themselves worthy with high scores, would live to study another day. Conversally, those with minimal scores would be given the choice of leaving academia immediately to work for minimum wage ad infinitum, or get shot in their heads and dumped in a mass scholastic grave, shadowed by a sizable headstone reading, “Here lies a bunch of arrogant eggheaded pricks who wasted our hard-earned money on nothing. Fuck ’em all.”

    Now please point me in the direction of the crack team of scholars currently studying the seasonal color changes of the male Equatorial Guinea mandrill’s ass, and their posited relationship to the price fluctuation of shark fin soup on the Chinese black market as it pertains to the division of church and state in the original 13 colonies.

  3. I wonder how we can qualify or quantify your statment “valuable in some way for the greater pursuit of knowledge.” This is a concept I have struggled with over the years with many people. Interesting how some people consider some things “worthy” of expending resources (financial and human) upon, while other things are not. I consider the political frameworks (hmm, didn’t the Demoncrats say they would end the war if elected) as well as perceptions of public interest (to what extent will people punish Mattel for lead paint in toys) to non-profits (how much of every dollar you drop into the buckets of VFW groups collecting money in supermarket parking lots around national holidays goes to funds other than the drinking fund)?

    I seem to have gotten diverted here . . .

  4. “I wonder how we can qualify or quantify your statment “valuable in some way for the greater pursuit of knowledge.” ”

    A simple show of hands will suffice.

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