Are you are social keeper of a social explorer? Managing thousands of friends in the economy of attention

Esteban Moro
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

The incorrect assumption that time, attention and cognition are elastic resources has blurred the study of how individuals manage their social interactions over time. After all, sociability is just another task undertaken by humans and it is reasonable to expect that individuals organize their relation dynamics with some temporal strategy. Analyzing the communications of 20 million people during almost 2 years we have discovered that people show definite communication capacity and activity, revealing a diverse range of social strategies, from stable to exploratory. We find also that those strategies are different for men and women and also that they slowly evolve over the lifespan of individuals. Finally we address the question of whether exploratory strategies have a competitive advantage towards information awareness. Our results provide conclusive evidence about human strategies in social networks but also about the divergence between the static and dynamic characterizations of human interactions.

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