No more friends for you!

There is a limit – apparently hardwired into us – on the number of friendships we can reliably maintain. The original article from 2003 and a more recent commentary provide the details.

Does this have implications for how seriously we take social networking using web tools like myspace? Is this proof that having hundreds of ‘friends’ or contacts obtained through social networking pages is as ridiculous a concept as might be suspected?

As a teacher, I can say that maintaining more than 150 ongoing relationships – which is easily the case with the number of kids we teach regularly (on top of the family-friend-acquaintance tally) – is a strain; you forget names, confuse background info from one student to another… It can be pretty embarrassing!

Now I’ve got an excuse. And I feel better.

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