Block the boss: We’re more likely to be Facebook friends with a total stranger than our boss

What Mobile
January 13, 2019

New research to discover the makeup of the average Facebook user’s friends has revealed that we’re more likely to be connected to ex-partners, holiday romances and even total strangers than we are to our boss when it comes to personal social networks.

The survey of 3,000 social media users, conducted by Envirofone, revealed that only around one in 1,000 of us is Facebook friends with our boss – far less than are connected to other colleagues, people from school, old university friends, holiday romances, ex-partners and even people we have never met. That’s despite the fact that many of us spend up to 40 hours per week with our bosses.

When asked to describe who is currently part of their Facebook friends list, UK social media users selected the following:

  1. Family 39.1%
  2. Friends 42.8%
  3. People from school 7.4%
  4. Colleagues 6.3%
  5. People from university 2.1%
  6. Total strangers 1.5%
  7. Ex-girlfriends/boyfriends 0.3%
  8. Holiday romances 0.3%
  9. Bosses 0.1%

While it’s clear that the vast majority of people see Facebook as the way to keep in touch with friends and family, the research also suggests that social media can help turn strangers into real life friends. More than half of respondents (57%) said they would stop to have a conversation with a Facebook friend that they hadn’t ever met in real life if they saw them in the street.

Denise Timmis, Head of Online at Envirofone said: “Social media is a great way to bring people together. The ease of use of modern phones means that we can keep up with the pictures, comments and messages of the people we care about more easily than ever and we can also build new friendships and connections too, often based around shared interests.

“Our research suggests that there is one connection that we’re still reluctant to take onto Facebook though, and that’s with our boss. We’ve all seen stories of people who have got into trouble at work or failed to land a job because of a social media faux pas, and so it’s understandable that many people like to keep their work and personal lives separate. The most important thing is that we’re comfortable with who we have connections with, we feel able to be ourselves online and we enjoy being part of our online community.”

For more information on Envirofone, please visit

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