Infographic from Facebook Stories.
This interesting infographic from Facebook shows which countries have the closest friendship connections. You can view the whole interactive, but I’ve highlighted the Sri Lanka part. What are the top 5 friendly nations to SL? In order, UAE, India, Qatar, Australia and Kuwait. So the Middle East, mainly.
Sri Lanka has about 1.4 million accounts on Facebook as of today (I checked fb.com/ads). Me personally, most of my foreign friends are in the US or UK, but it seems that average Sri Lankans are connecting to friends or people working abroad in the Middle East. And friends in India, which is also interesting. The connections between Sri Lanka and India are, on a personal level, very strong. Then of course Australia, which has a large diaspora population. Still, I’m surprised to see that connections with Canada and the UK are so low, despite having big diasporas as well.
Looking at the FB data in general, it appears that connections are based largely on proximity. That is, people tend to be friends with people from neighboring countries or those in the relative vicinity. Exceptions would be the UK, with strong connections to Nigeria and South Africa, and places like Argentina, with strong connections to Spain. Colonial relationships tend to persist in the social media age, as does the usual trend to love or at least know thy neighbors.