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Communications Social Networks The Internet Science

E-Mail Can Reveal Your Friend Hierarchy 85

sciencehabit writes "It's not surprising that someone could guess your friends simply by peeking at your e-mail. But a more detailed look at your electronic communications could reveal which friends are closer to you than others, according to a new study. The trick has to do with response time--the time it takes for a sender to respond to e-mails from different contacts. The fastest responses went to friends and that the slowest responses went to acquaintances, with colleagues somewhere in between."
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E-Mail Can Reveal Your Friend Hierarchy

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  • Fast Reply (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alphatel ( 1450715 ) * on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @03:35PM (#38217694)
    My fastest reply is always to the person who will make me the most money. My friends can wait.
  • by ( 245670 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @03:42PM (#38217782)

    I don't communicate with friends via email.

  • Re:Fast Reply (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @04:04PM (#38218060)

    Obligatory Why some emails go unanswered []

  • Re:Who does this? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TWX ( 665546 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @04:04PM (#38218064)

    With texting and social networking sites, who actually emails their friends anymore? Everyone I know only uses email for work. Although I'd assume that the same would apply to those media as well.

    With the telephone and spending time with someone face-to-face, who actually uses the computer to communicate with their friends anymore? Everyone I know uses text-based electronic means to avoid talking to their "friends"...

    Seriously, I use electronic means to communicate with my real friends for a couple of things- to figure out where/when to see them, and to share things that are of mutual interest. If I don't see them in person or at least engage in an interactive discussion using my voice with them then I have a difficult time referring to them as friends. On a related note, I've been in a fandom-oriented social club for almost 20 years, and we meet in person every other week. We have a mailing list, but it's for, again, deciding things or bringing things to the group's attention that then get discussed at meetings. This club has met every other week since 1975 when it was founded, in large part because meeting face to face helps bind the group together better.

  • Re:Fast Reply (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @04:37PM (#38218416) Journal
    I'd tend to agree. Friends are usually important, work is usually urgent. Work gets a quick reply, friends get a longer more thoughtful reply. You'd need to take message length into account for this to work. I'll often put off replying to friends until I have enough time to write something longer, while colleagues get a quick 'yes, that looks fine' within a couple of minutes.

If you suspect a man, don't employ him.