Friends make you happy, healthy, and they’ll be there for you when the rain starts to pour. But how many of them do you need? Turns out the show Friends had the science all figured out.
Back in the early 90s, British anthropologist Dr. Robin Dunbar came to an interesting conclusion: humans could likely only maintain social relationships with an average of 148 individuals due to the size of our brain’s neocortex, or what’s known as Dunbar’s Number. More social information processing demands requires more cognitive resources, and we only have so much brain power. Basically, we tend to top out at having 150 meaningful relationships in our lives, whether they’re family, friends, or casual acquaintances. Your Facebook might have hundreds or thousands of “friends,” but a good chunk of them, if not most, are out of mind./.../