Oxford Professor of Evolutionary Psychology Robin Dunbar has long suggested that 150 is the “cognitive limit to the number of individuals with whom any one person can maintain stable relationships.”
Dunbar says that personal relationships tend to expand in factors of about 3. So if you have 5 people who you consider to be your closest friends, and 20 who you stay in regular contact with, 50 is roughly the outer boundary of your personal network.
In other words, Twitter and Facebook have it all wrong.
The founders of a new social network startup agree with Dunbar’s research and are taking quite a leap of faith with Path, which launched over the weekend. Dubbed “The Personal Network,” Path limits you to just 50 friends.
“Because your personal network is limited to your 50 closest friends and family, you can always trust that you can post any moment, no matter how personal,” said Path’s owners in a recent blog post.
Here’s my question: If we’re already overloaded as it is, how are we supposed to take in yet another social network?
Speaking of questions, author Bill Bryson is in town for a reading, signing and brief Q&A. Bryson’s latest book, At Home: A Short History of Private Life, questions the stories behind every day life. For example, why do men’s coats have four seemingly useless buttons on the cuff? Why do forks have only four tines? Why do we call it “making” our beds?
Sounds like my kind of research.
Bryson’s Walton Arts Center appearance is at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at waltonartscenter.org.
- Fayetteville Public Library: Basic computer skills class
- JJ’s Grill n Chill: Samantha Hunt
- Pesto Cafe: Darren Ray
- Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall: Richard Bobo – Bassoon Recital
- UA Student Union: One Book One Community- Film Series
- Walton Arts Center: Bill Bryson: Notes From All Over
Fayetteville Public Meetings
- Fayetteville Public Library Board of Trustees Special Meeting: Public Library, Walker Room – 4:00 p.m.
- City Council Tour: Walton Arts Center, parking lot – 4:30 p.m.