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Facebook friends are virtual, finds Oxford University study

With millions and millions of users pouring, Facebook is definitely becoming another world for some people and for is not less than any drug. The recent studies conducted by Oxford University depicts that Facebook friends are virtual. Facebook lets you add thousands of friends but the line of difference is nothing but that in real life we can manage only a handful.

Humans appear incapable of maintaining more than about 150 active relationships, according to Robin Dunbar, a professor of evolutionary anthropology. He revealed that people having thousands of friends maintain only a number of friends out of them.

"The interesting thing is that you can have 1,500 friends but when you actually look at traffic on sites, you see people maintain the same inner circle of around 150 people that we observe in the real world," he told The Sunday Times. "people obviously like the kudos of having hundreds of friends" but the truth is that are only able to maintain only a limited radius of a circle.

Professor Robin Dunbar's study revolves around his own theory, called Dunbar's number, which posits that the size of our neocortex - the part of our brain that is responsible for conscious thought and language - is too small to handle more than 150 active relationships.

Those who think and are proud to have friends in hundreds and thousands can now be calm because it only works till “the” limit but Facebook is not kicking you to have friend list that says 1001 friends so keep up the good face in the book.

Facebook is a social networking website that is operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. Users can add friends, update their status to let the world know what is their mood and what has gone wrong with them. They can chat and send messages to be in touch with their friends and relatives. Facebook is filled with variety of applications even provides the user to get something more than only friends. The website's name stems from the colloquial name of books given at the start of the academic year by university administrations with the intention of helping students to get to know each other better.

Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook with his college roommates and fellow computer science students Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes while he was a student at Harvard University. The website currently has more than 350 million active users worldwide. A January 2009 Compete.com study ranked Facebook as the most used social network by worldwide monthly active users, followed by MySpace.


This is only a theory
Dunbar's Number is made up; it's an estimate, not a fact. The actual evidence suggests that we can maintain relationships with many people but it depends on two interactive factors - the physical distance between us and the frequency of contact. In other words we can maintain a good number of relationships providing these people are close to us.
Posted by Graham Jones