How many friends do you have? No, not Facebook friends, silly. Real friends.
If you have only two, then you're an average American. A new study has suggested that our circle of friends is shrinking:
Participants were asked to list the names of people they had discussed "important matters" with over the previous six months. If respondents said "none," they asked whether this was because they didn't have any important matters to discuss or no one with whom to discuss them in the past six months.
About 48 percent of participants listed one name, 18 percent listed two, and roughly 29 percent listed more than two names for these close friends. On average, participants had 2.03 confidantes. And just over 4 percent of participants didn't list any names.
When Brashears looked closer at that number of socially isolated individuals, he found that 64 percent indicated that this was because they had no topic to discuss, while only about 36 percent had no one to talk to. Turns out, female participants and those who were educated were the least likely to report no names on their confidante list.