Robin Dunbar is a British anthropologist and evolutionary biologist. In the early 1990s, he proposed that 150 was the maximum number of individuals with whom any of us can maintain a social relationship.
Personally, I think this number is high. Only the most gregarious of my friends seem to have anything like this number. For me, the number is closer to, say, 50.
But I can’t help noticing that I now have many more than on Facebook. Well, it would be wrong to call all these people "friends," but some of them will I think become friends, and some friends with whom I have lost touch will reappear here. One of them just signed on as a friend today. (Thank you, John.)
Gregarious people, well, God knows how many people they can keep track of with the new media. I mean, with cell phones, email, text message, networks on the internet, even a cave dweller with an attitude problem should be good for several hundred.
Your thoughts and ethnographic notes please. I figure LinkedIn and Facebook by themselves should expand my personal Dunbar number well past 150. How about you?