Researchers have observed an effect on longevity in families. Specifically, children of parents who lived 100 years or more tend to live longer too.
A recent study at the Boston University School of Medicine explored possible reasons for this. Is it just in the genes or do these people possess qualities that help them live longer?
They found that, among other things, children of centenarians are very social. They build friendships. They feel that their friends serve as safety nets in times of need.
A while back, a group of Australian researchers at Flinders University found that people with strong friendship networks were more likely to live longer. They divided the group into thirds based on the number of friends in their network. They discovered that people in the top third of friends were 22% less likely to pass away before the decade-long study concluded than people in the lowest third.
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So we wonder: Will we live longer thanks to online social networking?
Obviously, these researchers aren’t studying online social networks. When they talk about social networks, they’re talking about our physical network of friends. However, given this research, we think active online networkers may fare pretty well for these four reasons:
- Thanks to online social networks, we connect more often these days than we did before they existed. It’s just easier to keep up with friends.
- We also connect with more people. Because the communication is concise and streaming, it’s easier to make new friends and keep up with them.
- We connect with a more diverse group of people. It’s so interesting to learn about all the different interests people have. There’s such an array online. Research has shown that brain activity helps reduce the likelihood of dementia as well. It’s amazing how much you can learn from your online friends. And offline too, for that matter!
- We connect with people who are more geographically dispersed. We learn about new cultures and new things. Once again, it’s all mind-expanding and that’s a good thing.
So when we’re old and gray, we’ll still be actively involved in social networking. In fact, count us in for the golden tweetup!
Do you think that people who are active social networkers will be more likely to live longer?
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