Scientists have discovered how social network “patch” itself after the death of the participants

Scientists have discovered how social network “patch” itself after the death of the participants

The death of one of the members of social networks increases the interaction of its “friends”, scientists have found. Thus the network restores connectivity between the participants, just as the neurons of the brain take over the function of dead.

According to the study, researchers from the University of California at San Diego, social structures, such as social, resistant to death.

The death of one of the members brings his friends, thus preserving their relationship.

This process is the same as the neurons of the brain take over the functions of dead neurons, or how delayed the edges of the wound, according to the study authors. The results were published in the journal Nature Human Behavior.

The study was conducted on the example of the social network Facebook and 15 thousand groups of “friends” who have lost their Central party. This is the first large-scale work of this kind.

Scholars interested in what happens when a person’s death, which is the center of such groups, how they behave, his friend — breaks up whether the group or the network “repairs” itself?

It was amazing to see how many people joined after the death of a common friend and how long it lasted. Friends and acquaintances of the deceased person was actively engaged not only immediately after his death, a period of acute grief, but years later.William Gabauer research

Previously, researchers found that in response to natural disasters and other emergency people quickly form temporary relationships, which then just as quickly disintegrate.

To assess the sustainability of social networks to the deaths of participants, the study authors used data from Facebook and information about deaths in California. In total, they analysed the accounts of more than 770 thousand people and compared the results with data obtained from 30 thousand groups (more than two million people), in which no one died.

The researchers focused on the total count of comments, messages and tags left by friends and acquaintances of the deceased. They compared them to the number of two years before and after death. It turned out that the interaction between the people who have lost a General friend, has risen sharply immediately after his death, and in the following months it gradually started to decline, approaching the level that was marked two years before death. Close friends of the deceased communicated with each other in the first month after the death of 30% more than before, with friends — 15%. Two years later, the level of interaction was about 3% higher than before the death.

In other words, says Hobbes, people are compensated for the lost relationship with the deceased communication with each other.

“We can’t talk about the subjective experience of loss and recovery after her, but at the network level, apparently, in quantitative terms, the growth of interaction equal to a lost interaction with the deceased, which indicates full recovery,” he says.

As noted by researcher Robert bond, who did not participate in the work, “the increase in interactions in groups, suggests that people change the interaction model is therefore to support those who are experiencing the pain of loss”.

This effect was most pronounced among young people 18-24 years. In such groups communication is not just stabilized, but have been at a higher level than before death.

All other age group two years later returned to the previous level of interaction. Scientists call for more research, where attention will be paid to the specific behavior depending on the age of the participants.

The exception was suicide.

Network of friends, faced with the death of one of them from suicide, and are unable to recover to previous levels of interaction. Hobbes believes that this area should also explore in more depth.

In addition, the researchers did not analyze the content of messages, therefore it is impossible to say whether there was communication in support key, or it was dominated by anger and helplessness. A study of the correspondence could add a huge number of nuances.

“We hope that our results will increase the interest in how social networks adapt to injury and crisis, the researchers write. — A better understanding of adaptation in social networking will help to determine why social networks are restored or not restored and how to prevent their destruction. The results, in our opinion, are the first step in this direction.”