There are numerous reports and studies that expose the extraordinary amount of time spent on the internet pursuing ‘leisure’ activities such as social networking. But has this trend organically evolved solely from our advances in technology or is something more – the beginning of a world-societal trend that has been destined to revolutionise the way in which we spend all of our time?
British anthropologist Robin Dunbar theorized that there is a limit to the number of individuals one can maintain stable social relationships with in a group setting. The number lies between 100 and 230, with a commonly used value of 150. Dunbar postulates that “this limit is a direct function of relative neocortex* size, and that this in turn limits group size … the limit imposed by neocortical processing capacity is simply on the number of individuals with whom a stable inter-personal relationship can be maintained.” And I believe there is truth in this figure, though I go so far as to say that a mean group size of 150 is too large even when broken down into a minimum of three subsets.