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Socializing Hobbies

On the importance of socializing, and how hobbies can keep us social.

Socializing is crucial for our mental and physical well-being

Good friends are good for your health. Friends can help you celebrate good times and provide support during bad times. Friends prevent isolation and loneliness and give you a chance to offer needed companionship, too. […] Friends also play a significant role in promoting your overall health.

Friendships: Enrich your life and improve your health – Mayo Clinic

Really crucial:

Turns out, there was one—and only one—characteristic that distinguished the happiest 10 percent from everybody else: the strength of their social relationships.

The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work

As adults, our social connections usually diminish

[…] we find that the number of alters [social connections] reaches a maximum at an age of around 25. This is followed by a decrease until an age of around 45. From age 45, the number of alters contacted stabilizes for about a decade.

Sex differences in social focus across the life cycle in humans

The non-romantic relationships we do maintain tend to take on a secondary role:

In the hierarchy of relationships, friendships are at the bottom. Romantic partners, parents, children—all these come first.

How Friendships Change Over Time – The Atlantic

Moreover, many times, these relationships adopt a stale and monotonous form.

Why do we get less social as we grow older?

There are probably several reasons for the decline of our social interactions. One of them is life’s obligations, such as family and work. Another reason is that the character of our social relationships changes as we grow older: as we become more complex as individuals, so are our relationships – making them more demanding. We also become more set in our minds, and hence pickier – making the process of matching and attaching with new people rare.

Fortunately, social interaction doesn’t need to be meaningful or strong to be beneficial:

The current results highlight the power of weak ties, suggesting that even social interactions with the more peripheral members of our social networks contribute to our well-being.

Social Interactions and Well-Being: The Surprising Power of Weak Ties

Another reason for the decrease in our social relations is that we naturally lose touch or fall out of love with old acquaintances. On the other hand, we don’t meet enough people in our daily lives to form new relationships to replace them.

Hobbies can present social opportunities

Hobbies can supply us with the platform to keep meeting new people, in a relaxed, playful, and intriguing setting. Allowing us to either form new meaningful relationships or simply enjoy occasional and superficial – and yet congenial and beneficial – social interaction. Hobbies can also present an opportunity to liven up our existing relationships.

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