The world today has shrunk and it is rightly referred to as a global village, with information, data and news flying across to different corners at the blink of an eye. All it requires is the click of a button and all the information you need is in front of you on your screen. The availability of information has also extended to our personal lives with the entrance of social networking platforms.
Today, the availability of the social networking platforms like Facebook, Google+, Orkut, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. information about individuals is freely available to all. One can easily be in touch with thousands of individuals across different phases of their life. One is regularly updated with personal information, photographs, thoughts, opinions, and lots of other aspects of an individual’s life.
The nature of social relationships is also undergoing a change. Earlier friends would have picked up the phone to reach out to a friend, today they might choose to ‘poke’ the friend on facebook or write on the friend’s wall. Though the number of people the individual is in touch with in the virtual world increases drastically, it is seen that the individual’s personal interaction with individuals reduces. The virtual contact creates a false sense of being in touch with others, though the personal one on one interaction with individuals which are vital to any form of relationship is reduced.
About twenty years ago, the British anthropologist, Robin Dunbar, observed an association between the sizes of primate brains--specifically the size of the neocortex--and the number of social contacts. Chimps can process a smaller number of contacts than humans. Dunbar concluded that humans can handle regular contact with a number of friends somewhere between 100 and 200, and 150 became the standard Dunbar number for our species. So, though the social networks tend to give the perception of an increased friend circle, the individuals are...