No matter how many friends you have on social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter or Orkut, the human brain is capable of handling up to a maximum of 150 pals only, a new study has claimed. A professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Oxford University has found out that human beings are physically limited to being able to link up and manage up to 150 friends at most, regardless of any other societal variables.
The researchers, led by led by Robin Dunbar, have developed a theory known as “Dunbar’s number“, which claimed that the size of our neocortex – the part of the brain used for conscious thought and language — is too small to handle more than 150 active relationships.
He told the Sunday Times that “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“. “People obviously like the kudos of having hundreds of friends but the reality is that they’re unlikely to be bigger than anyone else’s.”
Anyhow, those looking to catch a glimpse of the work of Professor Robin Ian MacDonald Dunbar, can consult one of his numerous publications, “The evolution of culture: An interdisciplinary view” on Google Books.
Professor Dunbar’s findings will be published towards the end of the year and might finally debunk the myth of Facebookers who claim to have 5000 friends or so and Twitter users with over 34,000 followers. How many friends do you have on Facebook/Twitter?