Just Me, Myself and I: A Fulfilling Life without Friends?
Diane Keaton says it’s possible, but we respectfully disagree.
Recently Diane Keaton revealed in an interview that she doesn’t have any friends. That’s right, the lovable, relatable, famous Diane Keaton doesn’t have any close friends, only acquaintances. And she says she is okay with that; that her life as is, is fulfilling enough.
The world was shocked!
At Amintro, however, we were not.
Life gets busy, people move, they lose touch. It is a common occurrence, and more often than not, we find ourselves having superficial social interactions – saying hi to neighbours in passing, chit chatting in the checkout line at the grocery store, following along with friends and family over social media. And these interactions are simply not enough.
Loneliness and isolation is a growing epidemic in Canada and the United States, and this problem only increases as we age. In fact, a recent analysis of data from the American Time Use Survey, an annual census by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics of how Americans spend their hours, found that the older we get, the more time we spend alone.
And the decrease in our social activities starts much earlier than you might think.
Data from this research shows that the number of friends a person has generally peaks around age 25, and dramatically decreases during the mid-30’s. This makes sense as it is around the age that many people have families and become more involved in their children’s activities, or are advancing in their careers. By 45-55 years of age, the number of friends we have begins to plateau.
Of course, it is important to note that emotional regulation improves with age; meaning people receive higher rates of satisfaction from the relationships they have. However, in order to achieve this social satisfaction, we need friendships, which many people, unfortunately, do not have.
With 43 percent of older adults describing themselves as lonely, it is clear that friendships and socializing are in fact, an important part of life. Research has even shown that a lack of strong relationships had an effect on a person’s mortality that was comparable to smoking upwards of 15 cigarettes a day. Conversely, those with strong relationships have fewer health problems and live longer.
We all benefit from having a close circle of friends as well as an active social life. And if you aren’t sure where or how to get started, let Amintro help. A social community designed for those 50 plus looking to make new friends and increase their social circles, Amintro lets you connect with confidence online and then head out in the community to get the face-to-face interaction we all need.
Start living a more socially engaged life, you will be happier and healthier for it!
By Christine Tompa