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Are you a loser or social slut on FB?

If you're looking for an excuse to start trimming nodes from your online network, be a rule-and friendship-breaker and do it for your own popularity. So there you go!

tech reviews Updated: Jul 16, 2009 17:57 IST

Now a days, there is this normal perception that if you have too few "friends" on Facebook, you're a loser or too many, then you're a social slut. But, is there an optimal number to justify this?

Apparently any perceptions that people have of your personal characteristics based on how connected you are in a social network, may actually be valid. Social connectivity is also partially genetic.

Researchers James Fowler, Christopher Dawes, and Nicholas Christakis compared data on 1,110 identical and fraternal twins from 142 schools and found heritability in "in-degree" (how many people call you a friend), "transitivity" (how many of your friends are friends with each other), and "centrality" (how easy it would be to play six degrees of Kevin Bacon using you in the role of Kevin Bacon.) "Out-degree" (how many people you name as friends), however, is not significantly heritable.

The researchers also ran some computer simulations (using their "Attract and Introduce" model) and found that virtual people with heritable in-degree (how attractive you are as a friend) and connectivity (how often you introduce your friends) created network pattens that matched the real-life data.

There are many types of facebookers: Individuals with too many friends may appear to be focusing too much on Facebook, making friends out of desperation rather than popularity, spending a great deal of time on their computers ostensibly trying to make connections in a computer-mediated environment where they feel more comfortable than in face-to-face social interaction.

So there you go! If you're looking for an excuse to start trimming nodes from your online network, besides getting a free Whopper or avoiding urgent updates that some guy you met once was super-poked by a Zombie flower, be a rule-and friendship-breaker and do it for your own popularity.

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