More Friends Than Your Brain Can Handle

You may have 758 friends on your Facebook.  You may have more than that.  You may be linked to hundreds on your LinkedIn account.  Only your computer knows for sure, because your brain certainly doesn’t.  The brain, apparently can only handle 150 friendships, and the number of “meaningful friendships” that aany one human can have is the same now as it has always been throughout history.  Robin Dunbar, a professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Oxford has been studying different environments and finds that no matter how social we are, cohesion breaks down after groups become larger. “The interesting thing is that you can have 1,500 friends but when you actually look at traffic on sites, you see people maintain the same inner circle of around 150 people that we observe in the real world,” he said. Ah but, the bounds of the heart are infinite.  The Times (UK) has the story.

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