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Research from the Australia Institute says lonely people count fewer Facebook friends as real friends.
A report for the Australia Institute says that social media cannot be used as a cure for loneliness.
Australian Associated Press says the Institute used data from a federal government survey of almost 20,000 people, as well as an online survey, to conclude that lonely people try to use social media to find social support, but it doesn't help.
"There is a risk that social networking sites may be over promoted, especially to younger people," the report's author and Australia Institute director David Baker is quoted as saying.
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According to the independent think tank's report, lonely people have fewer Facebook friends and count fewer of them as "real friends," reports the Herald Sun. The newspaper summarizes the research by saying that "quality, not quantity, of social connections is critical in determining loneliness."
The Sydney Morning Herald says the report also found that one in three Australians experienced loneliness in the past decade, and men aged 25 to 44 and earning a high income were the most likely to be lonely.
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