I must admit I’m a little addicted to Facebook. Only a little, and certainly less than I used to be, but the need to log in often throughout the day in order to see what all of my Facebook friends have been up to is still present. I say Facebook friends because the idea of friendship has changed thanks to social networks, whether for better or worse.
I’m not alone in being just slightly addicted to Facebook, or of social networks in general. So much so that Internet Addiction Disorder is a recognized condition with its own illustrative infographic. This led me to wonder how the MakeUseOf readership uses Facebook, and in particular whether Mark Zuckerberg and co. have enabled individuals to expand their groups of friends.
How Many Facebook Friends Do You Have?
We asked you, How Many Facebook Friends Do You Have? The response was absolutely phenomenal, with the article garnering well over 100 comments. Every one of the people who responded shared a number with us; those numbers ranging from 0 (for people who don’t use Facebook) to 5,000 (the limit imposed by Facebook).
The average number of Facebook friends maintained by MakeUseOf readers is 386 (yes, I actually did the math). This is a much higher number than the 120 Facebook friends averaged across the whole of the social networking site. It’s also a much higher number than the 150 that is Dunbar’s number, which Saikat previously explored, and which Arron Walker also mentioned in the comments.
As someone who currently has 80 Facebook friends, and who has never had more than around 120, I find it hard to understand those who have thousands of friends. I doubt I have even met 5,000 people in my lifetime, let alone known them well enough to add them to Facebook. It’s clear that some treat collecting Facebook friends as a game, and that the vast majority of those on their lists are nothing more than vague acquaintances. But that’s just my opinion.
Comment Of The Week
Great comments came in from the likes of Lisa Santika Onggrid, Márcio Guerra, Samuel Almeida, and Douglas Mutay, to name just a few. Comment of the week goes to Rajaa Chowdhury, who, as well as the respect of myself and hopefully everybody reading this, receives 150 MakeUseOf points to use for Rewards or Giveaways for the following insight:
A few months back, my Facebook Friends count was almost touching 700, and coupled with almost 250 like pages and subscriptions, Facebook for me was almost resembling Rudyard Kipling’s Junglebook. So one day I decided that sanity need be restored, and start and un-friending the so called acquaintances. I guess the count of friends came down from 689 in the morning to 36 in the by the evening. Also another day, I did a similar exercise with Like Pages. Today my Friends count stand at 44 including my relatives and my Like pages stand to 6 out of which one is MakeUseOf page. Has of be a very special page to withstand the onslaught. Sanity restored!!!
This comment won purely for reminding us all that a good spring clean is sometimes needed, even when it comes to Facebook friends. Dropping from 689 to 36 may be extreme, but I heartily applaud the effort.
We will be asking a new question tomorrow, so please join us then. We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. We ask you a question and you tell us what you think. The question is open-ended and is usually open to debate. Some questions will be purely opinion-based, while others will see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps for your fellow MakeUseOf readers. This column is nothing without your input, all of which is valued.