relationships


Knowing the importance of networks, LIRNEasia has always probed about circles of friends and contacts and the role of ICTs in maintaining those relationships. Good to see the results of a study focusing entirely on that: The survey asked 2,000 people, chosen because they were regular social-network users, and a further 1,375 adults in full-time employment, who might or might not have been such users, how many friends they had on Facebook. The results showed, to no surprise whatsoever on the part of Dr Dunbar, that the average number of Facebook friends in the two groups were Dunbar-sized numbers: 155 and (when those who did not use Facebook at all were excluded) 187, respectively. Other details matched Dr Dunbar’s earlier work, too. This described a pair of smaller socially relevant numbers—a support clique (people you would rely on in a crisis) of about five and a sympathy group (those you would call close friends) of about 15.