Why It's Impossible To Have More Than 150 Real Friends On Facebook 6 years ago

Why It's Impossible To Have More Than 150 Real Friends On Facebook

How many friends do you have on Facebook? Well according to a new study helmed by anthropologist Professor Robin Dunbar, it's only possible for our brains to handle 150 close relationships.

Limited brain capacity and lack of free time means that realistically we can only have about 150 true friendships on social media, just like real life. According to the study published in The Royal Society of Open Science, the rest of your Facebook 'friends' should really be classed as acquaintances.


According to Professor Dunbar: "It is as though we each have a limited amount of social capital and we can choose to invest it thinly in more people, or thickly in fewer people. But you can't exceed these limits."

Basically, the more friendships you have on a social network, the less likely it is for those friendships to be deep relationships.

According to the study, we have on average five intimate friends, 15 best friends, 50 good friends, 150 friends, and 500 acquaintances. In total we can recognise about 1500 people on sight alone.

The 150 person friendship layer is defined by you feeling obligations towards the people in question, and wanting to do favours for them.


So when you see those people with a thousand friends on Facebook, remember that they would only be able to turn to three or four of them in times of crisis.

Lead Image via The Huffington Post