An Oxford professor is coming to town to shatter your illusions.
Robin Dunbar, director of the Social and Evolutionary Neuroscience Research Group, will be at the James A. Little Theater at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to explain: “Why the Internet won’t get you any more friends.”
Blame it on the neocortex, Dunbar says. That social layer of our brain, which developed about a quarter-million years ago and hasn’t changed a whole lot since, simply can’t handle more than about 150 friends total. His theory’s so famous that’s called the “Dunbar number.”
Perhaps not coincidentally, he’s said that’s about the size of villages many people lived in around that time. Boost your number of associates beyond that, and social bonds begin breaking down, according to online stories on his research.