In a paper released in Royal Society Open Science, Robin Dunbar, a psychologist at Oxford University talks about the number of social relationships an individual can maintain. Known as the Dunbar’s number, 150 is the number of people an individual can maintain relationships with. Then the question of whether modern social media changes that number needs to be addressed. Dunbar surveyed 2,000 people (first national scale random sample study) of regular social media users and 1375 adults who may or may not use Facebook. Studies prove Dunbar’s number. Other numbers that came out of this testing was most people had 5 friends who they could turn for an emergency and 15 friends they call close friends. It gives more evidence to the theory that there is a cognitive limit on how much the brain can handle, despite Facebook’s ability to expand the network.
Read the full article here: http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21688846-online-social-networks-do-not-change-fundamentals-friendship-done-bar