“Sociological research has shown that the maximum ‘natural’ size of a group bonded by gossip is about 150 individuals. Most people can neither intimately know, nor gossip effectively about, more than 150 human beings.”

Excerpt From: Yuval Noah Harari. “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.”
This is probably why no matter how many Facebook friends we get, we still keep interacting the most with pretty much the same people. So, if our ‘deep’ network is inevitably limited to 150 people, should we make a list? Should we consciously decide whom we give a slot to? And how much is 150 people? Less than you think. There were at least ten times more people in my highschool. That’s about two busses. It’s under half of the total Facebook friends I have.

I think it also explains why a lot of us have found jobs just because they knew somebody. We must all be giving a lot of weight to about 150 people, prioritizing them over others. I wonder what happens to the 150 people in the network of a very powerful person. Who’s on Hillary Clinton’s 150 list? Belgian political parties are certainly dominated by no more than 150 people, that’s for sure. These 150 VIP’s in each of our lives must be having an inordinate impact on society.

It explains of course why I haven’t had even one exchange or interaction with most of my FB friends or Twitter followers (Twitter is NOT for paranoid people). It’s just not humanly possible to keep in touch with more than 150 people. If the cliché ‘you are only as strong as your network’ is true and I think it is true under any political system, then you better be really careful about you’re little tribe of 150 people. Is it even a tribe? And if it is a tribe, what’s your position in it? Where is it heading?

I made a Facebook list trying to fit ‘my’ 150 tribe members on to one handy list. It went up to something like 120 people. Apparently 30 of my tribe do not have Facebook. I noticed there was no cohesion in this tribe of mine. As an anxiety ridden control freakish achievement fetish kinda guy I thought, well this is just silly. I should get them into a room together, they must have lots in common, they could get something done! Hunt some big animal together or something.

Who are your 150 tribe members? Did you choose them yourself or did they just walk into your mental ‘yurt’ or ‘tipi’ one day and claim a spot?
Should we hand out membership cards to the club of 150 people we gossip about? Is this why so many people in today’s society are so lonely? Are they cut off from their 150 people? Did they accord their 150 slots to the wrong people?
I see the faces of my 150 pass in front of my eyes and I think, if this were my tribe to run across the savanne with, we wouldn’t get very far…

Look for your tribe and live an authentic day!