How many connections you can effectively communicate with? The “Dunbar’s Number” theory (named for a British anthropologist who theorized that the average human brain could only effectively maintain a social relationship with approximately 150 people at one time) is frequently quoted as a measure of how many connections one person can manage effectively, usually by someone having trouble managing what they have, who can’t imagine how they can handle any more.

These theories don’t address the power of the communication tools we use today. Social Media enables us to reach many more people and make more relationships at a time. Although many of those relationships may not be as deep as family or close personal friends, they still enrich our lives and expand our experience.

If you have a large network, you won’t communicate regularly with all of them. But you should strive to connect periodically in some way. Your connections may range widely in interest areas, with each area having its own sub-network. You may share some information or a connection within one of these subgroups, thus nurturing the relationship with the group and the people you’ve connected. Generally there will be feedback, some conversation resulting from this. New introductions are made and new conversations started.

One shouldn’t collect humongous numbers of “friends” for the sake of the numbers. But if you do have a large network, it is possible to connect effectively with many more than 150 people.

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