Britons now have more than 500 online friends but just five "true and close" real-life friendships, according to a new survey.
A poll of 2,000 adults found they typically had 554 social media friends, but just a fraction who they would also considered pals in the real world.
In total, 65 per cent said they would be more willing to trust their friends than some of their own family members.
“Even in this golden age of social media, it’s interesting to see many of us consider only a handful of people our closest and most trusted friends," said Darren Foulds, managing director of online payment app Pingit which commissioned the survey. “Our research indicates we’d do almost anything for them, but given the busy lives we lead now, it’s no surprise that getting together can sometimes be challenging.”
The study found respondents would go to great lengths to help their friends, with more than half saying they would be willing to "drop everything" to help a mate.
Nearly 50 per cent would allow a friend to couch surf with them indefinitely and a fifth would even donate a kidney to a friend in need.
Four in 10 would also happily tell a white lie if a friend asked them to.
Man also also literally banked on their friends – 49 per cent would give a pal their last £10 and some would be willing to lend a friend over a thousand pounds.
The average person had also been hanging around with the same set of loyal mates for an average of 17 years.
Those who constituted our friends for life were schoolmates, followed by work colleagues and those who lived just around the corner.
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