Social media killing off visits to friends
Social media is killing off face-to-face contact with friends, new statistics have suggested.
The average number of visits people pay their mates is down by almost a third in the past 20 years, according to a UK study.
It claims we see our friends far less than we used to because technology means we keep in touch online instead.
The number of trips we make on average has fallen to an all time low, with the growth of online shopping and the popularity of working from home also thought to be cutting the number of journeys.
While people in 1995 made an average of 192 visits a year to catch up with friends, by last year that had fallen to only 136.
The fall was almost entirely due to people stopping visiting their friends at home.
Richard Cope, senior trends consultant at UK researchers Mintel, said the rapid rise of Facebook meant people had widened their social circles over that time, but met less face-to-face.
He said: “If it's just a social call, people are going to do that digitally rather than face-to-face.
“We have all got more social connections and friends than we did 20 years ago and we don't always see each other.
“We don't even talk on the phone anymore, it's all about sharing images and so on.”
As people work longer hours and commute further, they also have less time to go round to friends, he said.