More Online Friends, Less 'Real' Ones
Cornell University study suggests so
- Duration 6:43
- Date Nov 15, 2011
Cornell University study suggests so
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How you friends do you have on FaceBook how many friends do you have in your real life and MP friends that you actually talked to in person.
-- that certain Matthew brush years so -- Cornell University says.
And we have more online friends but what fewer real friends and professor Matthew precious joins me now.
With more on that you know this very sad but it's something that makes sense the more you develop sort of this online.
You know window of what relationships.
The less you feel you need to develop.
In personal relationships is that part of it.
Well that's actually an interest in question.
That's what we actually thought what's going on when we first detected this I was decreasing trend.
But -- buying a number of scholars Barry Wellman up in Canada as an up to affect you UNC Keith Hampton at the Annenberg school of communications.
All of that suggests that as you make more use social media your number of reported close friends actually goes up not down.
Which makes it so surprising that while people are flocking to these sorts of social media.
-- sources at the same time the number of people that we discuss important matters with the does seem to be decreasing.
Are they creating more meaningful relationships or fewer meaningful relationships.
Do you mean is do you FaceBook -- -- -- -- people in general has just -- FaceBook.
I'm -- providing opportunities to create more meaningful relationships or or not.
Well at this point it's hard to say I mean again people use FaceBook.
More frequently or more intensively.
Seemed to have more of the sorts of relationships that we would consider to be.
Close -- important relationships but whether or not FaceBook is creating those relationships isn't entirely separate question.
You know 11 possible confound fears of people who were more social who have more people are trying to keep in touch with -- You have more important relationship to Begin let -- be more inclined to use FaceBook and -- use it more intensively as a way of keeping up with all those people.
So could be the social ability comes first and FaceBook comes second rather than the other way around.
There because our Eric I never -- his here and he's -- a lot of our panels today.
He is AM to associate publisher for social media magazine Max and I -- to get his input on what I.
I'm nondescript what you think it to -- it's fat out of my -- thousands of friends on FaceBook.
-- we were talking to break it just mentioning my Twitter handle I get 25 new followers.
That we -- literally in minutes here I am on you know on your computer I got 25 new people falling on Twitter maybe some will be my FaceBook friends.
-- -- be front -- on FaceBook you can -- But don't you think there.
From the from a very early age preteen.
The way it preteens now socialize is different.
And as they grow up it will be different.
They will have FaceBook friends aren't real world friends in -- from school you can not let you could talk to everybody at school and going to school but not talk to everybody or you can drop like -- -- have.
3000 front but really not happened nearly that in life.
Well I think that's that's -- -- the way that the younger generations are going to interact with people they know is obviously going to be changed their social media.
Just the same way that the wave that's.
You know my parents' generation and their parents' generation was changed by the ubiquity of the telephone and just like people before them there are ways of interacting with people are changed by email service.
There's there's always changes and how we go about developing and maintaining our relationships but just because we develop them and maintain them and a new way.
It doesn't necessarily mean that it changes the fundamental nature of friendship for the nature of those relationships.
We'll still have close relationships poll also have weaker more distant connections what we call weak ties.
-- -- by the same token though before the development of FaceBook there are also weak ties -- we didn't know well but you've run into him on the street periodically.
Have a conversation but it wouldn't really be that close relationship.
So it's a shift in how these things are managed but it's not necessarily a shift in what the actual relationships mean to people.
Very important before you ask that question Erica -- -- -- so graphic abouts.
This study that shows what we -- with how many people do you discuss important matters.
And and 2010 it's two friends in 1985.
You know college twenty fighters -- out three friends so we could decree -- decrease in the number of if a slight decrease was certainly a decrease in the number of close friends that you discuss important matters with you and and I would -- soon may have met -- This morning the same in 95 it's because there is more face time.
With that in personal pay an in person face time with friends.
-- Right well it's it's hard to know that for sure at this point you know obviously we only can with 85 we can only use the -- questions were gathered at the time so even if there's -- we'd like to you.
To know about at this point it's hard to sort of go back in time and ask about it.
At this point in time.
You may very will be corrected or something face time it's critical for these these discussions.
At the same time.
I'm a little skeptical on that based on and on just what the research says yes that that does seem to be saying that the more.
Social media you take advantage of being -- more of these important discussion partners he seemed to have.
I think what's possible is that we're simply re defining the people that are part of our overall social network.
We've always had set of close associates of close friends.
That includes individuals we don't necessarily discuss important matters left their people that you may go to four.
Financial assistance or might go to for help with -- various kinds of material problems that you don't necessarily talk about very important -- left.
And -- -- people you talk -- important -- -- you don't go to these other kinds of the systems.
So what we may be seen as -- people are.
Changing their definition slightly improved counsel somebody -- -- you can talk about an important matter with and who -- is somebody else so it's not necessarily that we have.
Fewer people overall when our lives -- -- that we -- partitioning and up a little differently.
Now does this mean it's not important well of course it's important -- the number of people with whom we discuss important matters is going down.
These people provide us with emotional support what is important for our well being and they also provide us with advice.
So if you're asking fewer people for advice you're getting your perspective your receiving fewer ideas and you may have poorer outcomes the consequence.
So this is still important but it's probably not telling us that people are becoming.
Less social than there really they're just they're divided -- -- social time a little differently we're.