Keeping up appearances

Most of us love having a Facebook and say we love it because it keeps us connected to our friends and family. But is it deteriorating those bonds instead of strengthening them?

A new study on the effects of social media on offline relationships found that online friendships are not exactly the same as real life ones.

The findings showed that you need to meet up with a friend at least twice a month and have eight phone calls as well. While this can be hard to keep up for some of us, it is that meaningful face-to-face and voice contact that really solidifies our relationships.

What’s more is that to consider someone as a best friend, you need to have spent at least three years as friends before you can claim the top friendship title. But is that really true? What about those connections you just make instantly?

The findings were based on the study of 2,000 adults and the majority admitted to speaking to just one in nine of the Facebook friends regularly, and that a real friend was someone you took or could imagine yourself taking on a holiday or to a wedding.

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Friends also need to know all about each other and be supportive in a crisis.

Men had a lower expectation of their upkeep of communication with their friends, thinking nothing of seeing best friends less than once a month. Participants of the study aged 56 to 65 said they had the least amount of friends, which highlights how important it is to contact the ones you do have.

Facebook may connect us to one another but it’s clear that making the extra effort to call or keep up appearances is what really makes a friendship.

What do you think? Do you think Facebook has made you closer to your friends? Or do you think traditional communication is important to maintaining your social circle? Tell us below.