This weekend just gone we managed to have an African Bat Conservation Reunion together with most staff, volunteers and interns from the last few months. It was great catching up everyone and hearing how people are doing and having a few glasses of wine whilst we laughed. For me this is my first experience of online socialising! We used the Google Meet App and I really enjoyed possibly mainly for the subtitles and all the hilarious random things it was coming up with.
Lockdown has helped me to re connect with people as everyone seems to have a bit more time on their hands, myself included. I am the first to say that I am absolutely terrible for keeping in contact with people, even those closest to me. I prefer deep, meaningful conversations with people in person, discussing ideas and subjects I want to talk about. Some of friends and me can go for a couple of years without speaking to each other but when we meet up, it is like we have never been apart. Where as with texting, there is a lot of small talk, which can take up more mental space I believe and can be really hard when you have a busy schedule.
As humans, we simply can’t be in touch as much as we may like with everyone we want to stay closely in touch with. According to an anthropologist and psychologist from the University of Oxford, Robin Dunbar, there’s a limit to how much effort we can put into maintaining relationships. On average an individual can only maintain a social group of 150 and of these 50 will be our closer friends with who we socially with regularly and about 15 who are our really close friends. Furthermore, only five people form our closest support network become our ride-or-dies. So how do people end up with thousands of friends on platforms such as facebook? Surely it is too much to keep up with so many individuals and their lives?