If Ponce de Leon really wanted to find the fountain of youth, instead of slogging through the Florida swamps, he should have stayed on the boat and hung out with his friends. Why? People who have a solid network of good friends and caring neighbors boost their chances of survival by 50% according to research from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Maybe ol’ Ponce should have discovered a face book page as well since the research revealed people who had the strongest social networks were nearly twice as likely to be alive at any given age than those who were lonely. But there is more to consider than the positive benefits…there are the negative consequences if you don’t!

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Having just a few friends is as damaging to survival as smoking 15 cigarettes a day or being an alcoholic.