London: Users of social networking sites such as Facebook have double the number of friends online than they do in real life, says a new study.
The study, commissioned by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, found that that typical users of social networking sites have 121 friends online versus 55 friends around them.
It found that one in 10 people has found their best friend online and that people tend to be more honest with friends online than when faced with friends, the Telegraph reports.
One in 10 also believes that they will meet really good life-long friends via the web.
"For most people, the internet is a way of keeping in touch with loved ones and friends but for people who are isolated due to illness, it plays a more vital role and can often act as a lifeline," Helen Oxley, consultant psychologist at Manchester Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre, Wythenshawe hospital
"People with illnesses often rely on the internet`s ability to facilitate friendships as they blog and use networking sites as a way of coming to terms with, and dealing with their illness.
"It can foster a sense of social connection for those who can frequently feel isolated, which is important to psychological wellbeing," said Oxley.
The Cystic Fibrosis Trust conducted the research as the internet plays an increasingly important role to those suffering with the illness who cannot physically socialise as much as they would like.
Additionally the research found that only five percent of people will ask for a new friend`s number, with 23 percent of those polled preferring to add them on a social network by using their full name or taking down their email address.