Social networking vs. real life
Recently, Cameron Marlow, Facebook’s in-house sociologist pointed out that according to their user data, people keep in touch with their intimate circle of friends on Facebook in the same way they do in real life. So for instance, on average they may have 120 friends, but only communicate with around 10, and the same 10, regularly.
Now this has been pointed out and theorised about before, so it’s great that this is now backed up by user data from Facebook. However it is not the question we should be asking! Rather than how is online networking the same as real life, the question should be ‘how is it different?’.
Those other 110 friends the average Facebook user has, how often do they communicate with these people? Does it happen more often than real life due to the disconnected nature of these communications (i.e. does not need two people present)? Is it the same or less? Are people taking more product recommendations from a wider circle? These are the interesting facts and figures.
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