It is impossible to have more than 150 friends before your brain explodes according to a British boffin.
Oxford University anthropologist Robin Dunbar claims that despite what Facebook and other social notworking will tell you, 150 is the upper limit the brain can absorb.
He has been looking at the social group size of monkeys and apes and how that size might relate to the brain.
After looking at why apes groom each other he came to the conclusion that you need to have a large brain to handle a complex social life.
Dunbar’s magic number of 150 is based on the idea that a personal relationship exists because of history and a shared experience.
In his book How Many Friends Does One Person Need? He said that a person’s friends are akin to ripples in a pond – each ripple representing an ever increasing number of friends from 5 up to 150.
Your closest to you are usually family, then close friends and eventually acquaintances.
The 150 friends aren’t a homogeneous group of people, but rather they are rings of people or circles of friendship that expand outwards, he said.
The first ring you would kill for, the second ring you might help out, the third ring you might buy a drink.
His research is proving useful for mobile phone outfits who are working out the size that people’s address books really need to be.
Dunbar said that last year’s international banking crisis might have been averted if the number 150 had been applied, Dunbar said. If the bank units had been smaller, everyone might have known what was going on and felt more responsibility towards each other.