How many online friends is too many? Facebook insists users can only have 5,000—and that's not enough for some, discovers Stephen Levy in Newsweek. "Who am I to say no to friendship?" asks one user who spends 12 hours a day on Facebook and has a waiting list of 500 would-be pals. Levy even discovers a mere potato on MySpace with 2,695 friends.
Users never have to say no on MySpace, which sets no caps—though the average number of friends is 180. But don't expect most of the "friends"—who often have at best a tenuous connection—to deliver chicken soup on sick days, quips Levy. Some of them can be downright weird, but difficult to rebuf when they pepper users with friend requests. Those who don't draw the line risk sharing very personal details with virtual strangers.