A recent study has revealed that the ones you are following on Twitter and Facebook are definitely smarter and funnier than you with a larger following, although there is nothing to feel bad about.
According to Naghmeh Momeni Taramsari, who is currently working on her PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering at McGill University, it is all due to the inherently hierarchical nature of social media networks, where people mostly either follow up or across and rarely unfollow.
“Most people tend to think that they are better than their friends when it comes to intelligence, memory, popularity, and other personal traits. However, a recent study by other researchers shows that this perception is false, at least in the context of online social networks. In reality, our friends really have more friends than we do, on average. Moreover, our friends are more active (post more material), and are more influential (their posts are viewed and passed on more often). This is known as the Generalized Friendship Paradox,” says Taramsari.
“Social networks do not simply comprise a few ultra-popular people with tens of millions of followers, followed by the masses, and who themselves only follow a few others. Rather, Twitter is hierarchical in the following sense: those who have millions of connections mostly follow others with million connections. Those with thousands of connections mostly follow others with thousands or millions of connections. Those with a few connections follows others with few, thousands, or millions of connections. Apparently, it’s just the way we’re connected, “according to Prof. Michael Rabbat, who teaches in McGill’s Dept.