Popular people live longer.
As social animals, the number of friends predetermines our well-being and lifespan. The gregarious live long than loners.
But life hinges on authenticity — it is not a popularity contest.
The number of people we know means nothing if there's zero reciprocation. The other person(s) have to like us back. There's a real benefit to solid relationships.
Think back to high school: were you amiable to a few trusted friends or sworn to attention?
The same question applies to our behavior online. It's rare to have both status — millions of followers — and likability. The difference between the two is subtle.
Explains Mitch Prinstein, UNC psychology professor and author of the book Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World:
“Likability is markedly different from status — an ultimately less satisfying form of popularity that reflects visibility, influence, power, and prestige. Status can be quantified by social media followers; likability cannot.”Mitch Prinstein
If we're looking for happiness in the credibility of numbers, social media is the wrong game to play. Happiness links to likeability, not our number of followers.
It pays to be both well-known and well-liked if we want to extend our lives. So how do we start? For one, we can be kind to others, remembering their name, and seek a thread of commonality.
gif via Tony Babel