Dunbar’s number – The theoretical limit on meaningful social relationships?
Here is an interesting question – Can you have more than 150 friends? Is there something in human being which imposes a theoretical limit on the number of “meaningful” relationships one can have?
New research is suggesting that if you’re friends with over 150 people on Facebook, the extras are meaningless.
This is a conclusion of some thinking by Oxford professor of evolutionary anthropology Robin Dunbar. He’s recently expanded on some of his original research carried out in the 1990s on the human neocortex–this is a part of your brain heavily involved in language and conscious thought. It’s the bit of brain matter that helps you relate to other people, on a friend-to-friend basis, and Dunbar’s theory is that it can only handle a maximum capacity of roughly 150 ongoing, fully interactive friendships. If you know or are “friends” with more people than this, then actually you’re probably merely acquaintances instead.