Everyone knows that having friends boosts well-being. In fact previous research has even suggested that having numerous friends reduces the risk of medical conditions like heart disease. However, a new study finds that not all friendships are created equal. Researchers from the University of Leeds conclude that well-being is more closely related to how people feel about their friends than their overall number of friends. Study Finds reports:
According to the survey results, older adults had fewer friends on average than younger adults, but the number of acquaintances participants called “close friends” wasn’t related to age. Younger adults did, however, report more general acquaintances because of social media networking sites. These sites, like Facebook, facilitate larger and more impersonal friend groups, the researchers theorize.
Only the reported number of close friendships was found to be significantly associated with social satisfaction and well-being. This finding even stayed consistent after accounting for the number of family members, neighbors, or acquaintances each participant reported.