A recent research associates a large number of friends on Facebook with poor social skills and low levels of happiness.
In today’s world of social networking, we measure everything with the number of connections, friends, contacts.
Doesn’t matter how the network officially calls our on-line friends, we always tend to add more friends to our network… Of course, not all the people have the same social networking skills or needs. But what is interesting is that the number of those who have an enormous number of virtual friends is much bigger than you expect. In fact, there are big chances that you know a person on Facebook who has more than a thousand friends?
These persons are usually spending more time on the network than any average Facebook user. They seem to be everywhere and know everyone. Admit it, you yourself have thought that this is a clear sign of the popularity and happiness and that people actually like this person… Think again, because in this case, things are not what they seem at first glance.
Things are actually quite the opposite!
The latest research shows that a large number of friends on Facebook can mean that the person is not having the strongest social skills. Usually, these persons are very shy, unhappy and not even close to being popular. The most frightening fact about these people is that they might be so deep into depression and that they certainly need professional help.
In the recent study, scientists have compared the personality traits and levels of happiness and content among 16,367 participants. The study was conducted over a period of four years. Participants who have shown to be extroverts in the study proved to have a better mood and generally they were happier. However, as time went on, these same participants were increasingly withdrawing into themselves and they obviously became unhappy. Does this mean that people usually pot on a mask when they are communicating over the social network? Most probably and in majority cases – yes! Showing the things and personal feelings as much better than the reality is a habit that many people don’t even want to admit. But, the study has shown that this is a fact that we have to face when we consider our social networking life.
How to explain these results?
The study shows that people with too many friends on Facebook are the persons who have less sociability and they are showing increased sadness. Such findings actually surprised the researchers who were expecting a completely opposite result. But, this is why a good social study is necessary in order to better understand human social behavior in modern times.
All we expect from extroverted people with a rich social life is to always be happy. They have to be the ones that will bring everybody’s mood up, brighten the moment and make us feel better whenever we talk to them. But things obviously do not work that way.
“Our findings show that most people with a lot of Facebook friendships are actually becoming more and more depressed and introverted” – commented the head of researchers who conducted this study in Maine, professor Christopher Soto from Colby College.
Professor Soto added that the same results can be applied to persons who have many superficial friendships in real life. This interesting study was published in the Journal of personality.
By Apollonas K.