Let’s do some math, shall we?
Do you have over 150 friends on Facebook? How many of these people do you really know? Of that result, can you count the ones that are your actual friends? I bet the number doesn’t get to 150. Not to mention that, among those in that list, not all of them are your close friends. If you don’t agree with me and think that you really know and care about most of your Facebook friends, let me tell you that science disagrees with you. According to British anthropologist Robin Dunbar, the maximum number of true relationships each person can have is 150. With relationships he means interacting, keeping them present in our mind and life, trusting them, and engaging in conversations once in awhile. These are people you share personal stories with. But, why 150?
Being an evolutionary anthropologist, he started studying social the attitudes of primates and how there’s a close relationship between the size of their brain and that of the group they belong to. Since humans belong to the primate family, we also share that feature. Studying the social groups of the modern human through history, Dunbar realized that the average number of individuals in each group was precisely 150. That’s the number of the average hunting communities. If you look at the Domesday Book (commissioned in the eleventh century to make a census of the population in England), the average of people in each village is again 150. So, basically, as part of our social evolution, our brains are capable of maintaining a full relationship with about 150 people at the same time, and it’s very unlikely to think of a bigger number. Now, I presented you with all this information because, as it tends to happen, out of those 150, there will always be at least one person who’s so unbearable you really wanna punch them in the face.
These insufferable people prefer to hang out in the safe realms of the Internet where they can navigate and entertain themselves without risking anything of their real life. But where do they come from and why do they act like that? There are two main options: either they don’t belong to your 150 list, or they seem to become someone else on social media (unless they’re also like that in real life). Well, the thing is we all have at least one annoying friend. It’s as if Facebook has become some sort of sanctuary where they can release everything they have inside. But to be honest, no one really cares.
There many types of unbearable people on social media. You have those who overshare their life. They feel the need to share every single event happening to them, even those things that one should really keep to themselves. What’s really beautiful about these characters is that, either they are very explicit in sharing their emotions or they just post things like “Depressed,” “I can’t believe this is happening to me,” among many other vague sentiments. And naturally, there are many curious people who feel the need to ask if they’re okay, and their answer is either “I’m fine, don’t worry” or “DM.” I mean, what’s the point of those things?
There are those who, even when they don’t really know you that well, comment on everything you share or post. We all have one or more “fans” who track every aspect of our life. And while it’s true that whatever you share becomes public, or at least visible for everyone, why would anyone want to comment and interact with everything someone else does on social media when there’s no interaction in real life? To be fair, this is absolutely our fault for having them as friends on Facebook.
In the collection of insufferable creatures of social media, we also have the classic troll or hater. These people only open Facebook to pour all the venom inside them. Their main activity is following tons of pages, seeing every post, and scrolling through all the comments to argue with strangers. I’ve seen very heated arguments over stupid things, but they just feel the need of fighting with someone, I guess to release their tension. Then, with time, they become more bitter, and instead of only ranting on strangers, they start quarreling with themselves, all in front of the eyes of the curious who at first find it funny, but with time it just becomes lame.
How to deal with this? The answer is quite simple: unfriend them. Or at least, if they’re a family member or someone you can’t really banish from your digital realm, just unfollow them. You don’t need to deal with this kind of negativity or weirdness, and they don’t really need people tolerating their behavior.
So, how many of these “friends” do you have? Or worse, are you one of these dark creatures?
Check these out:
Why Ranting On Facebook Only Makes Us More Bitter
Who’s The Narcissist Riding A Horse On Tinder?
Has Stalking Become The Norm In Social Media?