If you regularly celebrate #FriendlessFriday -- that's any night where you forgo human interaction to sit in a nest of Tostitos crumbs and watch Biography channel ghost shows -- you may want to reconsider your life and your choices. According to this new 30-year study out of the University of Rochester, having a bunch of friends in your hot-mess twenty-something years is actually really good for you.
The study, which tracked diary entries of social interactions from 20-year-old University of Rochester students in 1970, found that the larger the pool of diverse people you befriend and interact with while you're young, the more successful you are later in life. The study says that those communication tools you pick up in your twenties leave you better prepared and for the whole grown-up relationship game.
If that's not convincing you, people who don't make those connections are at a higher risk for early mortality, Cheryl Carmichael, the researcher behind the study said. “In fact, having few social connections is equivalent to tobacco use, and it’s higher than for those who drink excessive amounts of alcohol, or who suffer from obesity.”
While the number of friends is what matters most while you're young, the study also says things start to shift once you reach your thirties. By then it's the quality of the friendships that counts more, so go right ahead and plan for a mass Facebook purge on your 29th birthday.
And maybe invite some friends over next time you're in a #FriendlessFriday funk and try to talk to new people while you're young. It might just be worth it someday.