This article originally appeared on YourTango, by Julia Sullivan
Well, at least you'll die surrounded by cats.
If you were contemplating whether to go to spinning class tonight or that Tinder date you’ve been putting off for weeks, a new study is suggesting that you should probably pick the latter if you want to live a long life.
As reported in The New York Post, the Brigham Young University-commissioned study found that being single is more likely to kill you than obesity.
Individuals with bad social connections had a 50 percent increased risk of an early death in comparison of those with good social connections, comparable to smoking roughly 15 cigarettes per day, according to the AARP. Alternatively, obesity increased an individual’s likelihood of an early death by 30 percent — a 20 percent drop on deadliness.
"Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need, crucial to both well-being and survival," explained Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, the lead author of the study and a professor of psychology at the university. "Extreme examples show infants in custodial care who lack human contact fail to thrive and often die, and indeed, social isolation or solitary confinement has been used as a form of punishment, yet an increasing portion of the U.S. population now experiences isolation regularly."
In other words, that shame you feel (after a weekend of isolation) when you stare at your haven’t-showered-in-days reflection in Netflix’s “Are you still there?” screen isn’t just depressing — it’s deadly.
Similar to how you refrain from telling your coworker in the kitchen that you spent 30 straight hours watching Gilmore Girls this weekend, as the Postgoes on to report, a survey from Granset (a social networking site for the over-50 crowd) found that three-quarters of its U.K. users aren’t talking about their loneliness, which compounds the problem even more. The U.K. actually considers loneliness an epidemic, costing businesses $26 million per year in expenses from the health effects associated with isolation.
Of course, this study probably emerged at the worst possible time ever, with the hookup culture at an all-time high and trends like ghosting all too real. Your best bet, aside from adopting dozens of cats? Keep your squad of girlfriends close.