London: While making new friends on the social networking sites like Facebook, not many of us realise it could actually define our life.

A study has suggested it actually reveals a lot about us. Researchers believe the number of friends we have can depend on how successful we are, and even how often we move, Daily Mail reported.

Researchers from the University of Virginia and the London  Business school say the perfect number of friends actually depends on several socioeconomic factors, and varies from country to country.

Shigehiro Oishi, a psychology professor at the University of Virginia's College of Arts & Sciences, and Selin Kesebir of the London Business School explored the benefits of social networking strategies in two studies. Both predicted that a broad, shallow networking strategy would be optimal for people living in a residentially mobile, economically favourable context.  

While a narrow, deep networking strategy would be optimal if people tend to stay in one place and economic conditions were not as favourable. The studies have been published in the journal Psychological Science. According to the researchers, one of the reasons for Americans to prefer a large social network could be that they move around a lot.

Another important factor maybe the economic conditions at a given time."When times are prosperous, your friends are less likely to need much help, whether it's covering a hospital bill or providing babysitting, and so a broad network of friends is easy to maintain," they claim. "But when times aren't as flush, having more friends might incur huge costs in terms of both time and resources."


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