The average Brit has 136 Facebook friends but 40 per cent of people see none of them on a weekly basis, according to a new study published by the Manchester based Co-op.
The revealing snap shot of community life in the UK shows that just six per cent meet up with one virtual friend a week while just over one in ten (11 per cent) touch base with two.
However, it is not only in the virtual world where people are feeling isolated. The report shows that almost four out of ten (37 per cent) admit to having no neighbours they consider to be friends and just over one in five (21 per cent) have no one nearby that they could depend on for a favour.
The research, conducted among 2,000 adults across the UK, shows that on average Brits can call on 2.6 neighbours for help.
However, in most cases the relationship is at a minimum level with a parcel delivery now far and away the main reason someone would call on the person next door for a favour.
Seven out of ten (72 per cent) say they would ask a neighbour to accept a package. Only a third of the Brits interviewed (32 per cent) are prepared to borrow a tool or would request a cup of sugar (30 per cent).
Rufus Olins, Chief Membership Officer at the Co-op, said:
“It feels that whilst we have invested heavily in creating virtual connections we have ignored our human relationships.
“We may have plenty of social media friends but having neighbours that you can turn to, whether that’s to take in a parcel, borrow some milk or just for a chat, is so important. We all want to feel part of a community and know that someone is there to help a hand.