Cornell University assistant professor Matthew Brashears asked 2,000 adults to name anyone with whom they had discussed something important with within the past six months.
According to the results, almost half of the of those surveyed (48 per cent) listed just one person, 18 per cent named two people, 29 per cent named more than two people and four per cent said they had not shared important details with anyone.
Interestingly, a similar study was conducted 25 years ago, with the results showing then that most adults had an average of three close friends.
These findings may come as a surprise to many, especially those who spend much of their leisure on social networking sites, adding and chatting to ‘friends’ online.
According the Facebook, the average number of friends for each user is 130, which is far more than the average number of real life friends.
Researchers have said that this drop in the number of close friends is not overly concerning and could simply mean that individuals have become more selective about who they trust with very personal information.
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