Blog Archives

Britons are drunk in three-quarters of their Facebook photos

A recent survey has shown that the average Briton is drunk in over three-quarters of the photos on their Facebook profile. The average British Facebooker admits that they are under the influence of alcohol in 76% of photographs in which they are “tagged” on the social networking site. The survey also revealed that 93% of users have removed tags from photographs because they are “too embarassing”, with 8% feeling that such photos could get them into “serious trouble” at work.   

This may give the British population a reputation of being a nation of binge-drinkers, but it is worth considering that a majority of photos on Facebook are at social events or nights out – and alcohol will invariably be served at such events.

“We’re all guilty of going out and having a good time, but nowadays the photos inevitably catch up with us online, so we wanted to look at how much these photos dominate our presence on social media sites … The thing to remember is that most photos are taken on special occasions or get-togethers with friends and family,” said Rebecca Huggler of MyMemory.com, which carried out the survey.  

Full story: Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/facebook/8958714/Britons-drunk-in-three-quarters-of-Facebook-photos.html 

Advertisements

Psychologists prove that our brains can only cope with 150 friends

Have you have ever thought “I can’t be bothered to keep in touch with all these random people any more”, decided to have a “Facebook cull”, and proceeded to delete a vast majority of people from your list of friends? It’s something that many of us do without much thought, but there is in fact a scientific principle that explains why we do it.

Research in the 1990s by British anthropologist Robin Dunbar showed that 150 friendships appears to be the highest number that humans can want, can need, or can bear.

It’s an evolutionary thing. Social primates build communities to form bonds and protect one another. Yet a number limit must exist in a community, because groups that are too large compromise their sense of intimacy, their cohesion, and their chances of survival.

After studying many primate species, Dunbar realised that the size of a social group increases with brain size. He came to the conclusion that 150 is the limit when it comes to humans. It is certainly a figure that has recurred throughout history: Neolithic farming communities tended to split up if they exceeded 150 members; the Romans made 150 soldiers the basic unit of an army; the size of a nomadic tribe is around 150. And many subsequent studies have supported Dunbar’s simple finding that you can’t realistically maintain regular contact with more than about 150 people.

But modern online social networks (i.e. Twitter and Facebook) allow us to have lists of hundreds – or even thousands – of friends. So doesn’t that disprove Dunbar’s findings? It would seem not. Latest research from Bruno Goncalves at Indiana University reveals – even if we do have enormous lists of friends and followers – around 150 is still the maximum that our brains can truly withstand.

After studying social networks of three million Twitter users over the last four years – studying 380 million tweets in the process – Goncalves discovered a common habit amongst Twitter users. People start using the service, collect a huge number of friends, and then get overwhelmed. And, incredibly, this limit occurs … somewhere between 100 and 200 people.

Full story: IO9 Science http://io9.com/5807157/dunbars-number-proves-that-you-cant-realistically-follow-more-than-150-friends-on-twitter?tag=science