London: In today`s world, social networking
sites have become a convenient way of staying connected with
pals, but a study says young people are spending so much time
online that they don`t get time to make friends in real life.
Despite having an average of some 243 `Facebook` friends,
teenagers are spending so much time on the Internet that 60
per cent have little time to go out with friends in real life,
according to the study based on a survey.
The survey commissioned by `Yours` magazine, involved
people aged from 18 to 80, and found that more than a third of
people spend more time chatting online than going out with
And, as many as half of the respondents say they want
to combat the problem and would do so by joining or starting a
local friendship club.
The survey also found that 92 per cent of the over-50s
believed that Britain used to be more friendly.
Sixty per cent said the main reason they find it hard to
make friends is that using technology to communicate is much
easier but a similar proportion said they simply want someone
with whom they can have a coffee and chat.
Overall, two-thirds said they "feel lonely" and need
more face-to-face friends to make life really worth living.
The average 50-year-old now spends half the week on their own
-- 84 hours -- rising to four days 60 year-olds, four and a
half days for 70-year-old and five days for the over 80s.
`Yours` editor Valery McConnell said she believed it
was an indictment of British society: "Eighteen year-olds are
as lonely as 80-year-olds and they want a friendship service
because they can no longer make friends in the traditional