How many of your Facebook friends are actually friends, and how many are just acquaintances? According to a study that was published in the Royal Society Open Science journal last Wednesday, only one in ten of your Facebook friends qualify as actual friends, and only one in thirty qualify as good friends. This is based on data from nearly 3,400 Facebook users between the ages of 18 and 65, which found that the average user has roughly 150 people on their friends list.
Facebook clearly isn’t the fad that was MySpace. In fact, the social network may very well go down in history alongside the Internet itself as having the most profound impact on our generation – a cultural icon, if you will. For all of the “good” that Facebook is credited with (reconnecting old friends, creating romantic relationships, helping families that live in different cities / states / countries stay in touch, helping reunite long-lost family members, etc.), the site is often criticized for harvesting personal data from its members, being an outlet for online bullying and even redefining the term “friend.” A recent study published in the Royal Society Open Science journal examines Facebook’s impact as it relates to friendships, both online and in person. In it, British anthropologist and evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar analyzed nearly 3,400 Facebook users between the ages of 18 and 65 and found that the average user has roughly 150 Facebook friends.