Keeping up appearances 31



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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.

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.

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. There is nothing like human contact- nothing is as good as a warm hug or animated conversation.

  2. I agree, that meaningful face to face and voice contact are so important. I much prefer to catch up in the physical sense and “break bread” so to speak. Sometimes typed conversations can be misconstrued…….and the “picture of your cake would taste sooooo much better over a cuppa”

  3. I meet friends at a coffee shop every Saturday morning. There could be two of us or there could be 5. It is good to have a weekly catch up and keep in touch. I really appreciate the friendship of my friends 🙂

  4. FB has nothing to do with my friends. I have 2 (15 & 24 yrs since met) & one we try to meet once a month for lunch & the other less frequently. however, when we do catch up it is great to learn what each has been doing. Only have acquaintances & family on FB.

  5. I meet up with some friends on a fortnightly basis for dinner it is great to sit and have a group conversation face to face. Get to laugh and hear the laughter the ‘lol’ at the end of a text is no where as nice.

  6. I have FB friends I would fly across the world for and some I would not recognize in the street. Likewise I have realtime friends I see face to face every week or so and some once a year. All valued and all play an important part in my life.

  7. I prefer to actually see friends, or secondly speak on the phone. However I have often gone for 12 – 18 months without seeing friends, sometimes only talking on the phone once a month or so. I think I would only have 2 friends I see twice a month – have been on holiday with one of those…lol…

  8. I don’t think I have any friends, except my daughters and my husband. A few acquaintances maybe. I panic any time anyone gets too close and back off. I am happy to stay in touch with people from a distance.

  9. You get what you give, FB is fun and interesting, friends are the ones who care and love us, need their support, they know and understand us.

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