"Overall, social support increases survival by some 50 percent, concluded the authors behind a new meta-analysis." Scientific American reports on the effects of our spreading social isolation: "A long lunch out with co-workers or a late-night conversation with a family member might seem like a distraction from other healthy habits, such as going to the gym or getting a good night's sleep. But more than 100 years' worth of research shows that having a healthy social life is incredibly important to staying physically healthy. ... The benefit of friends, family and even colleagues turns out to be just as good for long-term survival as giving up a 15-cigarette-a-day smoking habit."