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It's All Downhill After 25 in Terms of Friends, Study Finds


Have fun with all those guys now. That circle may grow smaller as you age. Brand New Images/Getty Images
Have fun with all those guys now. That circle may grow smaller as you age. Brand New Images/Getty Images

Think back to a time when your social life was robust and exciting. (Or just think smugly about the present time, if your nights don't involve endless Netflix scrolling or exhausted catch-up chores around the house.) How old were you when you had the widest social circles? The various BFFS, pals, acquaintances and buddies you'd call up for a night on the town, an event to attend, gossip to spread or just someone to scroll through Netflix with?

Answer: You were 25. Science says.

That is, a new study in the Royal Society Open Science found that 25 is the age when we have the most social connections, according to the 2007 cell phone records of about 3.2 million Europeans. At age 25, both men and women were calling the highest number of folks at least once a month. And yes, the researchers really only focused on voice calls and did not include texts in their tabulations. Men were calling more people than women at a younger age, but their social contacts steadily decrease until females finally have more social contacts — around age 39.

While it may seem strange to base social connections on phone calls (after all, we call a plumber to fix our toilet, and not to rehash "Game of Thrones" over drinks), the study cites previous research that indicates that phone contact does correlate with face-to-face interaction and point out that "People will exploit whatever means of communication is available in order to achieve their particular social goals. Thus, we expect the broad principles revealed in this study to apply more or less universally in all cultures."

So if you're bored with your current social scene? Call some 25-year-olds to get the party started.