"You can create your own village effect. Get out of your car to talk to your neighbors. Talk in person to your colleagues instead of shooting them emails." ______________________________________________________________________________
Forget Facebook, Abandon Instagram, Move To A Village
The village effect is a metaphor for the social contacts we all need as humans in order to thrive. These are the strong social ties that develop naturally in a village, where by necessity you cross paths with each other repeatedly every day. When you think of most villages, there is a central square, a public area where everyone converges or passes by going to the grocer or the post office or city hall or to sit at a cafe. And that is something we have less and less of today in our era of online connections. Commerce is moving online, everything is moving online, and these traditional village spaces are disappearing.
Why is 150 the ideal number for a village population?
One-hundred-fifty is the number that comes up time and again in the types of social interactions that work smoothly. We see it throughout history — whether we're talking about the number of people in traditional hunter-gatherer societies, Neolithic villages, an English country village or the number of Christmas cards we send out. These are people with whom you have strong enough ties that you could ask to borrow $10 until the next payday.
How do these 150 "village" ties compare to online ties?
Not all types of social ties are created equal. Oxford evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar posits 150 as the maximum number of meaningful relationships that the human brain can manage. We know from our own lives there are only so many people that you can invest in that way, that you can call and invite to dinner or check in on when sick.