It is possible for one to have only 150 friends on social media platforms like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), a new study have shown. The study that has been recently published in the Royal Society Open Science journal further adds that although it is possible for people to have a large number of individuals whom they categorise as friends on Facebook, it is only about 150 of those people that the individuals do have meaningful relationships with. The rest of the people, the study says, are merely acquaintances.
But the idea that people can only make meaningful relationships with an average of 150 individuals is not a new one at all. Back in the 1990s, a psychologist named Robin Dunbar carried out an extensive study on the number of friends that people could have. The results of his study were fascinating. He concluded that people could only have 150 real friends.
The reasons for this were varied but one of the most important ones is that people have a limited amount of time that they can use for social activities. Because of this limitation, they could only have a fixed number of friends. The second, and more technical, explanation for the number was that the human brain has its own limitations. Brain limits were said to dictate the number of friends that people could have in real life.
The importance of the current study, which was incidentally carried out by Professor Dunbar himself, is that it confirms that what was said to work in actual life also works when one is using social media platforms. The study was entirely based on Facebook users.
Its results confirm what had already been established that the manner in which we interact with each other can be evaluated in terms of circles. There is the inner circle that is made up of a few intimate friends. This is followed by another equally important circle of about 15 individuals who we can refer to as the best friends. Fellows we can describe as good friends can only be 50 then we can have 150 general friends.
This principle has been found to be applicable to the manner in which we use Facebook. Although we cannot officially designate our Facebook friends as being intimate, best or close, the manner in which we interact with them has been shown to validate this argument.