Half of All Friends Replaced Every 7 Years

Best Friends/Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children by Michael G. Thompson, Ph.D. and Catherine O'Neill Grace with Lawrence J. Cohen, Ph.D.

The research is based off such a small number that more variables need to be considered. I have met a variety of people that the study would not relate to. There are people who cater more to their social network than their friends and don’t show up at cookouts. There are people who don’t build a social network because their life is their friends and don’t move towards ever owning their own business. There are people who consider their social network as their friends and no one shows up on their birthday. There are people who balance the two very well and keep the same “low” number of friends and efficient social network. There are also people like Oprah, who have everyone wanting to be in their social and personal networks.

You may have more Facebook friends as the years go by, but when it comes to your close friends, you lose about half and replace them with new ones after about seven years, new social research suggests.

As a result, the size of your social network stays about the same.

People might like to think they have control over whom they choose as friends, but social networks could also be influenced by the context in which we meet one another. Sociologist Gerald Mollenhorst of Utrecht University in the Netherlands was interested in finding out exactly how much our networks are shaped by social context or by personal preference.

He conducted a survey of 1,007 people ages 18 to 65, and then contacted the participants seven years later. From the original group, 604 people were…

continue reading from source by LiveScience Staff

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