Friendship Management a Cinch With Online Social Networks

Online social networking may not foster deeper friendships between users, but it does make relationships with casual friends and acquaintances easier to manage, according to research from Sheffield Hallam University in the United Kingdom. The study, which set out to examine the role online social networks play in friendship management, found that with the help of platforms such as Facebook and MySpace, users are able to expand their social groups beyond the traditionally accepted 150-person limit — something that broadens each individual’s potential field of influence.

Part of the reason for this, study analysts speculate, is that staying in touch with “nodding acquaintances” online is easy and because social networks allow users the option of posting information to multiple people simultaneously, decreasing the amount of time necessary to stay in touch.

Interestingly enough, in spite of the operational advantages offered by online social networks, users still say they have an average of five close friends — and 90% of the friends users regard as “close friends” are people they have had face-to-face interactions with.



One Response to Friendship Management a Cinch With Online Social Networks

  1. Jane says:

    Thanks for stopping by and letting me know about the upcoming Conference on Interactive Communication.

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