【Unlocking Word Meanings】
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
1. lose /luz/ (v.) – to fail to keep or retain
Example: He is losing his wealth because of gambling.
2. contact /ˈkɒn tækt/ (n.) – someone you know
Example: My contacts in the government are very limited.
3. analyze /ˈæn lˌaɪz/ (v.) – to think carefully
Example: Scientists must analyze the result first before coming up with a conclusion.
4. socioeconomic /ˌsoʊ si oʊˌɛk əˈnɒm ɪk/ (adj.) – describing the combination of social and economic factors
Example: The respondents were grouped based on their socioeconomic status.
5. comparatively /kəm'pærətɪvlɪ/ [kuh m-PAR-uh-tiv-li] (adv.) – relating to something
Example: From two to four in the afternoon, the traffic is comparatively lighter.
Read the text below.
People start losing friends at the age of twenty-five, a study says.
Researchers from the Aalto University School of Science in Finland and Oxford University’s Department of Experimental Psychology found that the peak point when people start to lose friends and contacts is at the age of twenty-five for both men and women. The researchers concluded this by analyzing phone records from a European mobile operator within a one-year period.
Based on the study, starting age twenty-five, most young people's communication with friends via phone started to decrease. Results also showed that their primary use of phones was to contact members of the family and closest friends rather than friends who lived far away.
The study also mentions that the number of friends and contacts a person has is related to the age and gender of each individual. The researchers found that younger men have more friends and contacts than younger women. However, upon aging, women start having more friends and contacts than men.
In a separate study, researchers found that socioeconomic conditions also play a huge part in the number of contacts a person may have. Researchers from the University of Virginia and the London Business School found that people who have comparatively low incomes usually prefer a few close relationships than a big social circle with weaker ties. On the other hand, people with higher incomes prefer a large social circle with weaker ties to a small number of close friends.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
· What is your ideal number of friends? Discuss.
· Aside from those mentioned in the article, what are the other factors that affect the number of friends a person has?
· Do you think it is possible for a person to not have any friends? Why or why not?
· Do you think social networking strengthens relationships? Why or why not?