Skip to main content

Dunbar's Number isn't just a number, it's the law - and a comment

QUOTE:

Dunbar's number is 150.

And he's not compromising, no matter how much you whine about it.

Dunbar postulated that the typical human being can only have 150 friends. One hundred fifty people in the tribe. After that, we just aren't cognitively organized to handle and track new people easily. That's why, without external forces, human tribes tend to split in two after they reach this size. It's why WL Gore limits the size of their offices to 150 (when they grow, they build a whole new building).

Facebook and Twitter and blogs fly in the face of Dunbar's number. They put hundreds or thousands of friendlies in front of us, people we would have lost touch with (why? because of Dunbar!) except that they keep digitally reappearing.

Reunions are a great example of Dunbar's number at work. You might like a dozen people you meet at that reunion, but you can't keep up, because you're full.

Some people online are trying to flaunt Dunbar's number, to become connected and actual friends with tens of thousands of people at once. And guess what? It doesn't scale. You might be able to stretch to 200 or 400, but no, you can't effectively engage at a tribal level with a thousand people. You get the politician's glassy-eyed gaze or the celebrity's empty stare. And then the nature of the relationship is changed.

I can tell when this happens. I'm guessing you can too.

 

END OF QUOTE

So: assuming Dunbar is right, what are people doing when they have so many online friends?

Well it so happens that my wife and I were talking about this earlier this morning, and it reminds her of high school.

I see it as people starring in their own movies and inviting people to come and play bit parts in them.

I don't want to slam all the relationships that people have on social media, but I am guessing that for some - the bit players are there to swell the numbers and not for their intrinsic worth.

It's like the poor quality film where you see a person introduced only for the sake of being the victim in the next scene when the bad guy/monster/catastrophe gets him or her.

And the worst thing about people starring in their own movies with this kind of attitude is that it does not encourage community in the sense of care-in-the-community.

Apart from that - I don't care that people want to star in their own movies - let them have fun. It is their entitlement.

Posted via web from hotpixel

Popular posts from this blog

My Blog Is Carbon Neutral

I am pleased to be able to make the statement in the title to this article and I want to explain how I have done it and how I came to hear about the scheme that enables it.

The first step along the path that brought me to this happy state is that I have joined Seeded Buzz.

The idea behind Seeded Buzz is for the members to plant seeds - which means telling other bloggers about their blog posts and inviting them to continue the conversation on their blogs with a link back to the original post on their blog.

Well I have found a blog post from one of the members that covers a subject that interests me.


Seeded Buzz points out that better the Seed conversation and the more extendable / debatable it is, the more other bloggers will Buzz about it on their blogs and link to the original post.

And as we all know, links are the engine that pumps searches - and these are the lifeblood of the internet.

The seeder profile I found was from Thomas Chasm who blogs about a lot of different categories …

Giveaway Tools

After looking at an article on InsightScope about contest giveaways, I just read the FAQs for one of the tools, which is KingSumo Giveaway and I see that as at the time the FAQs were prepared, the tool doesn't integrate with Mailchimp. Instead you have to download a CSV and upload.Also, there is a warning that the tool may not be compatible with Facebook's terms in the future.Finally, there is a long, convoluted way you have to deal with duplicate content, which is described in the FAQs as follows: I’m concerned about duplicate pages for SEO We don’t create new pages, just add a parameter to your URLS. Google just sees the original page and URL structure. What we recommend if Google results are important is to run the tool, then once it looks like a winner I’d change the Title to the winner and the original URL. Remove the other titles. We are working on a fix to make this easier.Advanced users:Utilize the parameter tools in Google’s Webmaster Tools and set the Headline plugi…

New Post At Our Lonely Planet Blogger Site at Quillcards

This is a link to our most recent article at the Quillcards Blog about the Henry Moore exhibition at the Leeds Art Gallery.

Next up will be an article to be published later today about the ecards we have made to support Endangered Species Day this Friday, 20th May.

We are honored to have been asked to make these by the Endangered Species Coalition, so watch this space for the link to the article, or bookmark The Quillcards Blog and head over there later today.