As per a recent study, people from higher social class have fewer international friends on Facebook and other social media.
The study conducted in collaboration with Facebook using anonymised data from the social networking site shows a correlation between people’s social and financial status, and the levels of internationalism in their friendship networks – with those from higher social classes around the world having fewer friends outside of their own country.
Despite the fact that, arguably, people from higher social classes should be better positioned to travel and meet people from different countries, researchers found that, when it comes to friendship networks, people from those groups had lower levels of internationalism and made more friends domestically than abroad.
Researchers say that their results are in line with what’s known as the ‘restricting social class’ hypothesis: that high-social class individuals have greater resources, and therefore depend less on others – with the wealthy tending to be less socially engaged, particularly with those from groups other than their own, as a result.
However, the researchers say the fact that those of lower social status tend to have more international connections demonstrates how low-social class people may actually stand to benefit most from a highly international and globalised social world.
Co-author Aleksandr Spectre said that the findings point to the possibility that the wealthy stay more in their own social bubble, but this is unlikely to be ultimately beneficial, adding that if you are not engaging internationally then you will miss out on that international resource that flow of new ideas and information.
The study appears in Personality and Individual Differences.