Social Network Expansion

Nov 27, 2017

The Male Bond

Don’t make loneliness your best friend!

A study conducted in the UK gave surprising results. According to this research, the rate of friendlessness amongst men increases almost threefold as men move from their twenties to middle age. These men, when asked how many male friends they had, with whom they could discuss work and home-related problems out of their home space, every one out of eight answered: ‘none’.

This problem is not a recent one. Changing lifestyles has affected male friendships and resulted in what is being termed as a ‘crisis of masculinity’. Robert Putnam through his book Bowling Alone brought the issue of the decline in male friendships in American men to the mainstream, opening it up for discussion and debate as early as the year 2000. Although this conversation started almost two decades back, the problem has only grown, since. The number of households comprising only one person accounted for one in every four households in the year 2000. This number has steadily grown since 1940.

 

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With rising standards of living and average income, very independent lifestyles have set in. With greater income we are opting for more luxury, which usually means trying to get our own space; buying a house for ourselves, commuting in our own vehicle, having our own office, owning a private garden, and more. But along with luxury, we are also opting for loneliness – sometimes knowingly and sometimes, not. This kind of lifestyle reduces human contact to the point that by the time people reach middle age, they have very few people that they truly know outside of their own homes.

 

Impact on Health

 

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A direct result of this kind of aloofness has been noticed in the health of the individual. Medical researchers, time and again have come to the consensus that social relationships have a direct effect on a person’s health; both mental and physical. In fact, according to studies, loneliness can have a more adverse effect on your long term health than smoking cigarettes. Former surgeon-general of the United States, Vivek Murthy, named the most pressing health problem in the country not as cancer, heart disease or obesity, but isolation.

Studies have shown that when you stay lonely and stressed for a long time and do not have someone to offload to, it can lead to a drop in your immunity. In fact, even people as young as college freshmen who did not have an active group of friends responded worse to flu shots when compared to their counterparts who had a circle of friends. Loneliness has also been linked to diseases like strokes, cardiovascular diseases and even Alzheimer's. The result of a study conducted by Brigham Young University was that isolation increases the risk of premature death by up to 35% !

This is a problem not limited only to the west. Metropolitan cities throughout the world show similar behavioural patterns in men. Around 3.4 million people surveyed across Asia, Europe, Australia and North America show effects of loneliness on their health and well-being.

 

Maintaining Friendships

 

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It’s hard to maintain friendships. As we grow older and responsibilities start to take shape, friendships dwindle away. The pub Saturdays which were a regular thing or a spur of the moment decisions, start taking up too much effort and planning. Juggling between family life and long office hours is taxing enough to take up all your energy and time. It is very easy to ignore your own happiness and forget who you are outside of your family circle. But taking that time out to socialize with people outside your home is more important than it may appear.

Men are quite different from women when it comes to maintaining friendships. It is much more socially acceptable if a woman asks another woman out for a movie. Whereas with men, it simply doesn’t work that way. The difference is so plain that it can be noticed in the gestures of men and women. Research done on photographs showed that women friends talk facing each other while men stand next to each other looking out at a distance together, in order to hold a conversation.

Also a big difference between the two types of friendships is that men have to be performing a task together to be able to maintain friendship, like drinking, playing sports, eating out or going places together while women can also hold friendships just by talking, even on the telephone.

 

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It is very important to break the monotony of everyday life, especially once you reach a certain age. In order to maintain mental and physical health, a person needs to socialize with different types of people – and for men, this usually requires indulgence in social activities with other men.

Mozaic Club offers you just what you need to get out of the house on a regular basis and keep your mind and body healthy. Be a part of the social events and activities organized by the Club and give yourself a chance to meet like-minded people. Rekindle and begin friendships that last a lifetime… and sustain life!

 

Join Us Now

 

 

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