Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Almighty Buck United States

Who Americans Spend Their Time With (theatlas.com) 115

Data scientist Henrik Lindberg has a series of fascinating charts based on data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics that show who people in the United States spend their time with over the course of their lifetime. Check out the charts here. From a report on Quartz: Some of the relationships Lindberg found are intuitive. Time with friends drops off abruptly in the mid-30s, just as time spent with children peaks. Around the age of 60 -- nearing and then entering retirement, for many -- people stop hanging out with co-workers as much, and start spending more time with partners. Others are more surprising. Hours spent in the company of children, friends, and extended family members all plateau by our mid-50s. And from the age of 40 until death, we spend an ever-increasing amount of time alone. Those findings are consistent with research showing that the number of friends we have peaks around age 25, and plateaus between the ages of 45 and 55. Simply having fewer social connections doesn't necessarily equal loneliness. The Stanford University psychologist Linda Carstensen has found that emotional regulation improves with age, so that people derive more satisfaction from the relationships they have, whatever the number. Older people also report less stress and more happiness than younger people.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Who Americans Spend Their Time With

Comments Filter:
  • Friends Peaking (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mikkeles ( 698461 ) on Monday June 26, 2017 @12:22PM (#54692545)

    I am reminded of the saying: He who has many friends has none.

    • When I was involved with a church for 13 years, everyone wanted to be in a leadership position for the attention and friendships that comes with it. That's fine as long as you stay in the leadership. Once you're out of the leadership, the phone stops ringing. Many former leaders leave the church because they had no real friends. I've always prefer to have too few friends than too many friends.
    • I am reminded of the saying: He who has many friends has none.

      I don't get that.

      I've had lots of friends over the years, and STILL have a group of at least 11-12 close ones I'm in touch with if not daily, then weekly at least.

      Many of these friends are long term, the least of which is about near the 30 year mark......

      I"d trust all of them with keys to my house, in fact, the ones that live very close to me all have keys to my house.

      Of note....I don't do social media...and have no problem keeping in touch.

      • 11-12 friends isn't unusual. 11-12 CLOSE friends is. How do you find time to spend time with that many people multiple times a week?

        • 11-12 friends isn't unusual. 11-12 CLOSE friends is. How do you find time to spend time with that many people multiple times a week?

          Well, the ones that live locally, we hang at each others houses....do lunch/dinners out....hit the gun ranges together...any number of activities.

          The ones that don't live locally...well, we phone/text almost daily, sending pics...and for one group of them that lives in a different state than me, we plan get togethers and either I fly up there, or they fly here.

          I live in New

          • I don't care how good the pussy is, it ain't worth ditching friends I"ve known for a large part of my life, and trust with my life.

            Most of my close friendships prior to marriage were with women/girls. From about High School onwards, I've just preferred the company of women, even ones I wasn't interested in bonking. All those friendships sort of dried up after marriage. Some immediately, some just over time. Not the wife's fault, she understood it was platonic friendships (her sister was my best friend when I first met my future wife- her sister semi-set us up). My female friends, I guess, all felt uncomfortable hanging around a ma

    • Re:Friends Peaking (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rudy_wayne ( 414635 ) on Monday June 26, 2017 @01:36PM (#54693211)

      from the age of 40 until death, we spend an ever-increasing amount of time alone

      Because you finally figured out that most people are assholes and you're better off alone.

      • More likely because people in your circle start gradually dying off.

        • by Kjella ( 173770 )

          More likely because people in your circle start gradually dying off.

          In their 40s? Do you live in a third world country or something, the stats from Norway:

          At age 1, 0.2% are dead.
          At age 32, 1% are dead.
          At age 45, 2% are dead.
          At age 58, 5% are dead.
          At age 67, 10% are dead.
          At age 75, 20% are dead.
          At age 85, 50% are dead.
          At age 95, 90% are dead.
          At age 105, 99.9% are dead.

          Of course for the individual those statistics don't mean much since people don't have many close friends and there might be significant co-morbidity in accidents, lifestyle choices and such but for the populat

      • If you are lonely when you are alone, you are in bad company.

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      What about those who have none? :P

  • by Geoffrey.landis ( 926948 ) on Monday June 26, 2017 @12:30PM (#54692617) Homepage

    Intereresting data, but not in any way surprising.

  • Agreed (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 26, 2017 @12:34PM (#54692653)
    By age 25 most people have usually figured out that other people are assholes.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      If everyone thinks someone is an asshole, they probably are. If you think other people are assholes, you probably are,

  • by Anonymous Coward

    missing "time with cat" chart.

  • by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Monday June 26, 2017 @12:38PM (#54692681)

    Until your 20s or so, 'friends' are usually the least objectionable acquaintances from school. Now, that's potentially a large pool of people so you can get lucky and find real friends in that group.

    For a brief period in your 20s, you may form some friendships with coworkers or somebody you meet socially. Usually a limited pool of people, and that's the pool you're choosing a spouse from.

    In your 30s (if you have kids), your friends are the parents of your kids' friends.

    It often isn't until retirement that you're actually free to form relationships with someone based on common interests instead of common circumstances. And guess what? They're all old and moderately set in their ways so the odds of a friendship forming are lower. And they're going to die at a higher rate than in your youth, so there's that, too.

    • by TWX ( 665546 )

      I found a social group irrespective of school when I was in my mid-teens. Once I graduated high school I didn't really see anyone from school anymore beyond the odd random encounter in a public place. Kind of the same for college friends; since I didn't live on-campus most of those acquaintances were made through class where we were thrown-together without much in the way of input, so those friendships didn't really last too long either.

      Friends that I've made based on common interests have generally laste

    • by dpilot ( 134227 )

      Some people put in special effort as they get older not to get set in their ways, and for some getting to post-kids is a time to branch out a bit and do more adventuring. On the flip side, you're a bit less capable physically, but there's still a wide range of learning, new experiences, etc, available.

    • I do wonder what part of the increasing time alone graph is due to old friends, partners, etc. dying off and not being replaced.

    • Your real friends are those that remain friends though all the changes you describe and more. They are rare, and should be cherished.
    • It often isn't until retirement that you're actually free to form relationships with someone based on common interests instead of common circumstances. And guess what? They're all old and moderately set in their ways so the odds of a friendship forming are lower. And they're going to die at a higher rate than in your youth, so there's that, too.

      Not only that, but I think the vast majority of people struggle to connect with others. It's not just a nerd thing.

      When you are working or going to school, you are forced to interact with others. Relationships require skill to acquire and sustain. Most people don't have those skills, or are unwilling to work at them, without social pressure. Upon retirement, that social pressure is eliminated and people struggle.

  • Slashdot (Score:5, Funny)

    by kackle ( 910159 ) on Monday June 26, 2017 @12:41PM (#54692717)
    Hello "friends"!

    I wonder how reading/posting on Slashdot is categorized.
  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Monday June 26, 2017 @12:45PM (#54692759)

    All the people that are wrong on the internet. DUTY CALLS! [xkcd.com]

  • by Oswald McWeany ( 2428506 ) on Monday June 26, 2017 @01:02PM (#54692921)

    My best friend died last night, so I had to reload a saved game from earlier in the day.


  • That social fellah that thrives on human contact is statistically likely to sink into depression being alone in old age...

    BUT if you're anti-ocial then THIS IS IT! - that time you have been waiting for all your life, to be left the fuck alone.

    I look forward to the next study when such people speak of feeling liberated from the inane drudgery of mundane every day interactions with people.
  • Is there a miscellaneous or something? What am I missing? 15-year-olds have 10.52 total hours and 39-year-olds have 16.19 total hours.

  • Of course (Score:4, Insightful)

    by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Monday June 26, 2017 @01:27PM (#54693153) Journal

    We spend our school days trying to figure out where we are in the social structure of our world.

    That effort, once we hit puberty, turns into the search for a suitable mate.

    By 25 - according to the /general/ development of humans, not the last 70 years of extended fertility and 'modern' prioritization of career over family - you should typically be done seeking a mate, and into child raising.

    Once you're done raising children, you're more or less reproductively superfluous and should die off all else being equal.

    Plus, around your mid 20s-early 30s you start realizing that so very many of your so-called friends are really assholes you put up with, and choose to no longer do so.

    By your mid-40s you're starting to suspect that MOST people are really assholes, and ultimately there are just a few people (optimally, your spouse) that you really enjoy spending time with, if anyone.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "Plus, around your mid 20s-early 30s you start realizing that so very many of your so-called friends are really assholes you put up with, and choose to no longer do so. By your mid-40s you're starting to suspect that MOST people are really assholes, and ultimately there are just a few people (optimally, your spouse) that you really enjoy spending time with, if anyone."

      Would upvote for truth if I could, but instead I'll point out the mechanisms that I think underlie it. I banged this out quick, so it's a bi

    • That whole get married in your 20's thing never made much sense to me. At that age you're just out of school and probably have a little bit of money to spend on yourself. Why the heck would you want to tie yourself down with a wife and, horrors, children? Don't you want some time to create a life for yourself before you lose the option?

      • Actually, I did caveat that:
        "...according to the /general/ development of humans, not the last 70 years of extended fertility and 'modern' prioritization of career over family..."

        Pre modern medicine (actually, frightfully recently in my view) the death rate for women in childbirth was atrocious generally.
        (http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science_of_longevity/2013/09/death_in_childbirth_doctors_increased_maternal_mortality_in_the_20th_century.html - note 'medical professionals' actually made

    • While I believe people are growing and changing, evolving (some are not) throughout their lives, I think the 20s are most critical, and people in their 20s should not raise a child.

      What does a 25yr old have to offer to a child in terms of guidance and wisdom when the same 25yr old is just beginning his adult life and most are totally clueless about life. Even the older ones often are, but that's a different matter.

      Similarly, most people are not assholes, but they think other people are, so they become assho

      • by nasch ( 598556 )

        There's not much guidance and wisdom that can be imparted to a baby. And hopefully as the children grow up, the parents grow in wisdom and maturity as well. If you wait until you're in your 40s to have kids, A) it could be much harder to conceive and B) you'll be in your 60s or 70s when they're teenagers. Maybe that would be fine but it sounds tiring to me. I think mid 20s to mid 30s is the perfect time to start having kids.

      • The simple fact for most of the history of humanity is that having a baby in your early 20s meant the highest chance that the mother actually gets to LIVE through the experience.

        In most people's calculus, that's slightly more important than being able to 'give them better guidance' because you waited longer to have them.

  • Does yelling "get off my grass" counts as interaction and the kids count as acquaintances?
    • Those kids are pigeons. Your eyesight is deteriorating.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Does yelling "get off my grass" counts as interaction and the kids count as acquaintances?

      Nowadays, I have to yell at the neighborhood kids to "get off of my WLAN".

  • Wondering how the curves look if you included on-line time. Then of course one has to wonder if FTF friend is same as Facebook friend? And if alone on computer is the same is just alone?

    I overhear my son gaming with his friends and he is yelling in headset at the screen. Sometime it reminds me of my grandfather yelling at the TV when I was a kid.
  • The qz web page title says:

    You have less friends as you get older, and you spend more time alone, according to the data — Quartz"

    "less friends"? sigh.

    Hah! The captcha was "contempt"

  • While this study may appear to show friendships grow back after retirement, they don't always.

    There are well know problems with people with extensive work and research and travel related relationships having trouble adjusting in retirement, as they have to replace the extensive non-family or work-related relationships with other ones. Especially prominent among men.

    Shows up during job change too.

  • You spend time with your friends, then you find one you want to spend all your time with and proceed to make babies with them, babies with whom you then spend most of your time. Then they grow up and leave, but you're still working so you spend most of your day with coworkers. Then you retire and spend most of your time with that one friend you picked in your 20's, or by yourself.

    I guess it's nice to have that formalized, but it ain't a big shock.

  • I'm 37, and the biggest thing, in terms of time, that I've found myself amassing is hobbies. My sportscar paid-off and therefore pretty close to free to enjoy at pennies per minute. The kayak costs virtually nothing. The theremin, kalimba, and hammock chairs are completely zero cost. Video games, reading, and even tvision are basically pennies per hour. Even home DIY amounts to very little cost per-day. Cooking and gardening and the theatre are cheap too. I already lack the time to master any one of

  • by antdude ( 79039 )

    I noticed a lot of old friends got busy with their own families, work/job, etc. It sucks, and I miss them. I hate being old! :(

Harrison's Postulate: For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.

Working...