Having a lot of friends on Facebook can make you feel like someone special, however in reality that’s not the case. A recent study by the Royal Society of Open Science found that we tend to keep our friend groups small, both on Internet and in real life.


Study author and Oxford psychologist Robin Dunbar analyzed a survey of nearly 3400 Facebook users between the ages of 18 and 65 in the United Kingdom. The British anthropologist found that the typical person has about 150 relationships in real-life but could only count on about 4 at the time of crisis and consider just 14 people to be close friends.

People tend to have similar numbers of close friends in real life, so even though social networks like Facebook expand your circle of friends; they never actually get the rank of close friends. May be that’s because maintaining meaningful friendships, online and in real life, requires lots of time and mental effort.

The survey concludes that friendships without face-to-face contact, are bound to fade. If you don’t work at it, a Facebook friend will inevitably become “an acquaintance you once knew.