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Facebook friends ‘far better than neighbours’

Facebook friends ‘far better than neighbours’

To those who lament the social media generation’s online relationships and hark back to an era of face-to-face contact, there’s a notification: millennials have more meaningful friendships.

The “Facebook generation” is able to forge more worthwhile social connections based on choice, not proximity, unlike the postwar generation, a cultural historian has said.

The “golden age” of tight-knit communities was actually an era of squabbling neighbours, feuding families and difficult friendships, according to Jon Lawrence, associate history professor at the University of Exeter.

Neighbours in towns and inner cities in postwar Britain often had fraught relationships and people jealously guarded their privacy, he said.

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