They're on Facebook talking about their squad. They're on Instagram, taking pictures of the trendy new bistro they're eating at. They're going to that cool concert, watching that new movie, or attending that event that seemed otherwise 'unattendable' to just another average person. But they're not just average people. They're your social network - and, according to a recent study, there's a high chance they're just more popular than you.
Two European universities, Aalto University School of Science and University of Toulouse, came together to examine the different groups of people that interact on social media platforms where most the people a user engages with are real-life friends and family. From this study, they were able to create two general categories: the many people who have few friends versus the few people who have many friends.
They found that, essentially, these strangely happy, extremely lucky, popular people know enough people through socialization, and in turn, have a lot of people to interact with on social media. Likewise, there are many people who only have a few friends, and chances are that a handful of them are those that fall into that first category. The result is, yes, this is not a matter of poor self-image - most of us have just been naturally networked with more social, popular people.
Still confused? Allow MIT's Technology Review to break down the theory in their own words:
"The paradox arises because numbers of friends people have are distributed in a way that follows a power law rather than an ordinary linear relationship. So most people have a few friends while a small number of people have lots of friends.
It’s this second small group that causes the paradox. People with lots of friends are more likely to number among your friends in the first place. And when they do, they significantly raise the average number of friends that your friends have. That’s the reason that, on average, your friends have more friends than you do."
The moral of the story is: People that use Vingle are clearly the most popular people on the Internet.
(So this report doesn't apply to us. Obviously.)
Let me know what you think of this report below. Does this study make sense, or are these researchers just trolling the millions of people currently glued to social media? (And be sure to follow my WTF Street Journal collection for equally bizarre news.)