Social Media Makes it Harder to Make New Friends and Keep The Ones You Have
If you have hundreds of Facebook "friends" but still feel lonely, you're not alone. A new survey shows that social media users have a hard time making new friends -- and even keeping the ones they already have.
According to the poll of more than 3,000 Brits -- commissioned by the French liquor company Pernod Ricard -- shows that six in ten people meet up with friends less frequently than they had prior to social media taking off.
Seventy-seven percent said they've missed nights out with friends to stay home and stream a movie or TV show by themselves.
Some 55% agree that social media has made relationships with friends "more superficial," since they're not seeing each other face to face as often.
Other contributing factors to fading friendships are distance, work, and parenting duties, says the survey.
The survey also noted that 23% of those polled consider their social media friends and followers to be actual friends. And while the average person has 12 "IRL" friends, they consider just a third of those to be close enough to confide in.
British anthropologist and psychologist Robin Dunbar noted in a statement, "[T]he more close relationships you have, the higher your levels of happiness are. With this in mind, making small changes to our lifestyles like cutting down on social media can give us more time and space in the 'real world' to embrace convivial moments with friends."