A Social Network for Chimpanzees

A new angle. Restricted tight nit, exclusive Social Networks.

Today for the most part Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook and variations of their ilk, all drive the premise increasing your followers and getting them to interact with you and your posts. What if there was another way? What if there was a better way of representing the real way society works and the cold, crippling methods we use  – consciously or unconsciously – to select and promote who we let into our social circles.

It all come from the origins of Homo sapiens

On reading a book – a Bill Gates recommended book no less – around the origins of Homo sapiens and where we come from: the Chimpanzees. Three and a half million years ago there was a Mother Chimpanzee who had two daughters; one went onto breed other similar Chimpanzees. The other went on to be humankind’s grandmother.

We are all derivations of a group of primates

Those same primates have bonds and groups that have dynamics that work in the opposite direction of the most Social Networks. An interesting premise looks at what the author call the “Cognitive Revolution“. The tipping point in history where the human kind created a series revolutionary steps that moved us  away from being a herd of two legged defenseless carnivores at the bottom of the food chain to dominant species on the planet. A species capable of controlling, commanding and extinguishing most species of animal and plant on the planet.

150 –  the magic number

The founding premise of why Homo Sapiens became so successful is the result of being able to survive in groups of more than 150 members. As it turns out monkeys rarely live in groups much bigger than this number.  And we are of course children of monkeys. Its would appear that for most human groups 150 members  is elastic point at which collaboration, gossiping, planning, rumors and team work stops working efficiently. So to overcome this elastic point our ancestors  created a series of imagined realities, like religions and empires. These imagined realities helped us all find common ground and common ideas on which to agree. These common goals usually took the form of sacred trees, invisible fairies and spiteful gods. Regardless of their form if we al believed in the same fantasies and sacrificed goats on the same holy stone then it was much less effort to work towards bigger goals.
The imagined realities we created allowed us to collaborate and work in large groups together. Beyond the magic number of 150.

A Social Network for chimpanzee like us

That said, if you take away the imaginative fairy friends and holy stones we are still left our monkey traits. We still have the innate instinct to divide ourselves in monkey-like groups of no more than 150. We created imagined realities of empires, gods, currencies, morals, states and sacred hills, but we cannot escape the  evolutionary logic then we are biologically programmed to work best and be more receptive to groups of less than 150.
See where I’m going with this. Its the total opposite what we have generally considered to be the reality.
Through millennia of conditioning we believe we need strength in numbers. But this only works if we build a nice story behind it. Strength in numbers only exists if we all want to build a giant tower to point towards a sun-god. Which would point to an error how a lot of Social Networks are built and how they would represent humans true nature.
Our true chimpanzee nature is screaming out for us to do the opposite. We need and work better in smaller groups.

A Social Media platform for 149 members

Unlike Twitter where its just a numbers game., a true Social media platform that represents our monkey origins would only have a maximum of 150 members. With a such a platform members are limited to followers and participation becomes a question of representing our true animal nature Exclusivity, social exclusion, desire to belong, rejection, social layers, inferiority, stigma.

Just like real life, in the jungle.

 How would it work
  • So the idea is to have everyone sign up.
  • The primary objective is to first create your tribe of the first 149 members
  • Then once you reach that limit the social media platform would create another level.
  • People love levels. But its a B-level, not bad but you really want to be in the A level
  • Until you discover there is a C level
  • And once you discover you can get demoted to C-level its up to you to become a avid follower a better member of the tribe.
  • The consequence of not pulling your weight in the group is the  risk of exclusion.
  • So for example if as group leader I see you are not “liking” my updates enough then you’re at risk of being dropped down to an inferiore level of follower.
  • Should you begin do disagree with the flow of group discussion and take it upon yourself to disagree then this would run the same risk of exclusion…. and so on.
  • Just like the jungle.

Exclude, promote, demote and isolate

As a leader of my social tribe I could decide I want to demote a use to a lesser level. But what do my other followers think?  I could put it to a vote.  The out casting and public humiliation is just what people love about Social networks. Users would be living in constant fear of the dreaded Thumbs down. It would be the fear that keeps them subscribed to my ethos and my social feeds.  Where as with Twitter I can simply un follow a user, but where is the shaming, the parading in front of my peers?
Not with this tribal 150 platform. Its the  fear and unhealthy obsession with being excluded and that will keep the group in tow.

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