I recently had a facebook friend post a celebratory post about reaching 400 friends. Of course, comments of congratulations followed this. However, I could not help but wonder how many of the people he would recognize or speak to if he met them on the street?

A recent blog posted by Dion Hinchcliffe lists the twenty-two power laws of the emerging social economy. I found it interesting that number 3 was Dunbar’s Law that states we can only have 150 active connections. With more than 10 social networking options available, I think of people who have more than 150 connections on each network. For example, on my LinkedIn network, I only have four connections with two group memberships.

So, how many connections do I need? Personally, I have 148 friends in Facebook. In September, Wired published an article explaining where you could purchase Facebook and Twitter friends. Most of my connections are personal connections made through education and church settings. However, I did use my friends list recently to distribute a survey for a course. Because of their feedback, I was able to focus the instructional design of my unit.

The Facebook Song seems to summarize the feelings of the growing population of social networkers. With the number of social networking sites and connections increasing, are social interaction skills beginning to suffer? I love the thought of being able to connect with high school friends or college friends. However, when you begin to suffer withdrawl symptoms because of lack of Facebook time, there is a greater problem.

[youtube width=”480″ height=”295″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSnXE2791yg[/youtube]

  • Have you suffered facebook or social networking with drawl?
  • How many social networking connections do you have?
  • How do you use these connections personally and professionally?

Guest blogger:  Jamae Allred is a former preschool teacher of six years. She enjoyed working with children from three to five years old. After completing her Masters of Science in Education in Early Childhood, she taught undergraduate early childhood courses for one year. She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in instructional design & technology at the University of Memphis. Her research interests include online education and e-Learning influences in the early childhood arena. She plans to teach in higher education after completing her degree.

About Michael M Grant

Dr. Michael M. Grant is a passionate professor, researcher, and consultant. He works with faculty members, schools and universities, and districts to integrate technology meaningfully and improve teaching and learning. When 140 characters just won't work, then he blogs here at Viral-Notebook.com. He has a beautiful wife and three equally beautiful daughters, who will change the world.

5 Thoughts on “400 friends? Confirm or ignore?

  1. Jamae, I often wonder about the regular folks who have a large number of friends, too. Not the Ashton Kutchers but the regular folks. What’s the real value to being so public unless they want to be Ashton Kutcher and this is the mild form of celebrity? And is there any learning going on there?

  2. I wonder if the social sites are evolving into a new social structure with their own form of social hierarchy. If we look at social networking sites as hierarchies, the number of connections or friends could potentially alter other’s perception’s.

  3. Jamae,

    I loved the video. I’m glad that I’m not addicted to Facebook!

  4. Brooke on March 4, 2010 at 1:17 pm said:

    At one point I can say that I was addicted to facebook. Everytime I was bored, I would visit the site. I found that every time I opened my laptop, I automatically logged in to my facebook account to see if anyone had posted anything interesting (in the last ten minutes since I’d logged off). I decided to delete my account (deactivate) for a period of time to remind myself that I could function without it! This helped me a LOT with my “facebook addiction”. I have gotten a lot better about visiting the website. I do feel that people spend WAY TOO MUCH time on the website and are resorting to Facebook as their main sore of social interaction. This could cause us to lose the personal interactions that occur every day and cause us to withdraw from making relationships at school, church, etc. 🙂 I do LOVE FACEBOOK, but I also see where it could become detrimental to our social interactions with other people!

  5. Brooke (UU) on March 15, 2010 at 6:26 pm said:

    At one point I can say that I was addicted to facebook. Everytime I was bored, I would visit the site. I found that every time I opened my laptop, I automatically logged in to my facebook account to see if anyone had posted anything interesting (in the last ten minutes since I’d logged off). I decided to delete my account (deactivate) for a period of time to remind myself that I could function without it! This helped me a LOT with my “facebook addiction”. I have gotten a lot better about visiting the website. I do feel that people spend WAY TOO MUCH time on the website and are resorting to Facebook as their main sore of social interaction. This could cause us to lose the personal interactions that occur every day and cause us to withdraw from making relationships at school, church, etc. I do LOVE FACEBOOK, but I also see where it could become detrimental to our social interactions with other people!

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