According to new research from Cornell and Facebook, It's Complicated.
From The New York Times:
Their key finding was that the total number of mutual friends two people share — embeddedness, in social networking terms — is actually a fairly weak indicator of romantic relationships. Far better, they found, was a network measure that they call dispersion.
This yardstick measures mutual friends, but also friends from the further-flung reaches of a person’s network neighborhood. High dispersion occurs when a couple’s mutual friends are not well connected to one another.
In other words, a relationship’s success is based not on how many mutual “Friends” you share with your significant other per se, but how wide your social net is collectively. The article also confirms, again, that Facebook is exploiting pretty much every iota of information you provide to them in some way, shape or form, which means that for people who are guilty of frequently breaking up, making up and broadcasting it via their news feed (you know who you are): the joke’s on you.
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