dunbar's research suggests that you or i can maintain regular contact with some 100 to 200 others
plainly social media has a profound effect on the ease with which we connect with others
but can the technology allow us to go over dunbar's limit?
bruno gon calves, nicola perra and alessandro vespignani have studied the network of links created by users on twitter - not just those who we follow - but those we have regular contact with.
they found that over a certain number of contacts we start to get overwhelmed (an experience you may have had if you're trying to stay on top of twitter, facebook and google + accounts).
beyond that saturation point, the conversations with less important contacts start to become less frequent and the tweeters begin to concentrate on the people they have the strongest links with.
guess what the saturation point is?
the answer is between 100 and 200, just as dunbar predicts.
found via frsa daily at technology review
ps - for an alternative view and a bit more background try this post