People Have Fewer Friends Than You Think

Everyone likely spends as much time at home on their couch as you do, finds a new study. University of British Columbia researchers questioned 400 freshmen and found 55 percent assumed other students had more friends than they did, but just 26 percent believed they had more friends than the average classmate. On average, respondents estimated they spend about 31 percent of their time alone, and yet they estimated their classmates spent only 22 percent of their time on their own. Those who reported having many friends and acquaintances ranked high in well-being, but their perception of their own social life compared to others mattered just as much. Those who only believed they had fewer friends compared to others (whether it was true or not) felt worse about themselves. So why do many of us think everyone is hanging out without us? Study leader Ashley Whillans says since we only experience every moment of our own lives, and see snippets of everyone else’s, we assume others spend most of their time out in social situations. The reality is they spend time alone as well, we just don’t see it. (Quartz