By now, you would have heard that Facebook announced in their updated S-1 filling that they have 901 million users. That figure alone will tell you just how many people in society now are spending more time socializing via the Internet in real life.

And its not shocking to think so. A recent study commissioned by the social discovery site Badoo found more than 6,000 people in the U.S., UK and Germany were queried about their social lives online and off. Some prefer to communicate electronically via social network or text message than talk over the phone or face to face.

While 39% of Americans say they spend more time socializing online than off, the numbers are slightly lower in the UK and Germany — 36% and 35%, respectively.

84% of Americans say social networks are useful for staying in touch with far away friends, three-quarters say they’re great for reconnecting with old acquaintances and 83% say they help those who are shy and lonely meet new people.

Social network users also appear to be becoming more cautious about what they are willing to put online. Nearly half of the Badoo study’s respondents say they have be more careful about what they share.

Is this phenomenon a worldwide thing? Can we extrapolate this to a larger base as well? I think yes, but we'll have to wait for a study of that sort to come out.

What do you think? Are social networks eroding your social life or making it easier for you to communicate?