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朋友多的人更长寿

更新时间:2017-6-4 9:42:06 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Popular People Live Longer
朋友多的人更长寿

I often hear from teenagers that one of their greatest goals is to obtain more Instagram followers than anyone they know. Even some adults appear obsessed with social media, tracking the number of retweets on their Twitter profiles or likes on Facebook. This type of status-seeking might be easily dismissed as juvenile or superficial, but there’s more to it.

我经常听青少年讲,他们最大的目标之一就是获得比自己认识的人都多的Instagram粉丝。就连一些成年人似乎也沉迷于社交媒体,会密切关注自己Twitter的转发量和Facebook上的点赞数。这类寻求重视的行为或许很容易被视为幼稚或肤浅,但情况并没有这么简单。

Recent evidence suggests that being unpopular can be hazardous to our health. In fact, it might even kill us. Yet most don’t realize that there’s more than one type of popularity, and social media may not supply the one that makes us feel good.

最新的证据显示,不受欢迎可能会对我们的健康造成损害。实际上,它甚至有可能杀死我们。但我们大多数人都没有意识到,受欢迎的类型不止一种,而社交媒体或许无法提供能让我们感觉良好的那种。

Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a psychologist at Brigham Young University, consolidated data from 148 investigations published over 28 years on the effects of social relationships, collectively including over 308,000 participants between the ages of 6 and 92 from all over the world. In each study, investigators measured the size of participants’ networks, the number of their friends, whether they lived alone, and the extent to which they participated in social activities. Then they followed each participant for months, years and even decades to track his or her mortality rate.

杨百翰大学(Brigham Young University)的心理学家茱莉安‧浩特─朗斯泰德(Julianne Holt-Lunstad)集合了过去28年里发表的148项有关社交关系影响的调查研究数据,加起来涵盖遍布世界各地年龄在6~92岁之间的逾30.8万名参与者。在每项研究中,调查人员衡量了参与者社交网络的规模、朋友数量、是否独自生活,以及他们参与社交活动的程度。之后,他们追踪每名参与者数月、数年,乃至几十年,以了解死亡率高低。

The results revealed that being unpopular — feeling isolated, disconnected, lonely — predicts our life span. More surprising is just how powerful this effect can be. Dr. Holt-Lunstad found that people who had larger networks of friends had a 50 percent increased chance of survival by the end of the study they were in. And those who had good-quality relationships had a 91 percent higher survival rate. This suggests that being unpopular increases our chance of death more strongly than obesity, physical inactivity or binge drinking. In fact, the only comparable health hazard is smoking.

结果显示,不受欢迎——感觉遭到孤立、隔绝和孤独——的程度可以预测我们寿命的长短。更让人惊讶的是,这种影响之强大。浩特─朗斯泰德发现,朋友圈更大的人在他们参与的研究截止的时候,生存几率会大50%。有高质量人际关系的人存活率则高出91%。这表明,不受欢迎会增加死亡几率的程度要大过肥胖、缺乏锻炼或酗酒。实际上,唯一可与之相比的健康威胁就是抽烟。

The human body’s sensitivity to popularity may reflect the effects of natural selection over thousands of years. Anthropologists believe that it was humans’ ability to form and comprehend more complex vocal sounds — the rudiments of language, and the foundation of our identity as a social species — that enabled us to survive, ultimately outlasting our hominid neighbors like the Neanderthals, Denisovans and Homo floresiensis. As social beings, we protected one another, shared resources and collaborated to gain advantages over other species.

人体对不受欢迎的敏感或许反映出了自然选择数千年来的影响。人类学家认为,人类能发出和理解更复杂的语音,它是语言的雏形,也是我们确立社会物种身份的基础,能让我们得以生存,并最终比尼安德特人(Neanderthals)、丹尼索瓦人(Denisovans)和佛罗勒斯人(Homo floresiensis)等人科邻居活得更久。作为社会动物,我们彼此保护,共享资源,合作从其他物种那里获利。

This may be why we remain so attuned to popularity today, even when we’re not consciously thinking of it. Research in psychology and neuroscience has begun to reveal a number of automatic physiological responses to unpopularity. For instance, our popularity may have an effect on our DNA.

这或许是我们现在依然习惯于受欢迎环境的原因,尽管我们并不会有意识地考虑这个问题。心理学和神经系统科学的研究已经开始揭示人们在面对不受欢迎状况时会做出哪些无意识的生理反应。比如,我们的受欢迎程度可能会对我们的DNA产生影响。

George Slavich and Steve Cole, experts in the field of human social genomics at the University of California, Los Angeles, have described our genomic material as being exquisitely “sensitive to social rejection.” They study what happens immediately after we’ve been left by a romantic partner, excluded from a social event, rejected by a stranger or even simply told that we may be judged by others we care about. Within 40 minutes, they and other researchers have found, these experiences affect the expression of individual genes, determining which parts of our DNA are turned on or off (called epigenetics). Even imagining that we might lose our connection to the herd, they have found, can change how DNA behaves.

据加州大学洛杉矶分校(University of California, Los Angeles)人类社交基因组学领域的专家乔治·斯拉维奇(George Slavich)和史蒂夫·科尔(Steve Cole)描述,我们的基因物质“对社会排斥”极其“敏感”。他们研究了在被恋人抛弃、被排除在一项社交活动之外、遭陌生人拒绝或只是被告知我们在乎的人可能对我们做出了批评的情况下,我们会立即做出怎样的反应。他们和其他研究人员发现,不到40分钟,这些经历就会就会对个体基因的表达产生影响,决定我们的DNA有哪些部分启动或关闭(这被称为表观遗传学)。他们还发现,即便只是想像一下我们可能会失去与群体的连接,也会改变DNA的表现。

This process may affect only a few dozen out of at least 20,000 genes, but even that small number seems significant. According to Professors Slavich and Cole, those affected genes play an important role in our immune systems. Some are linked to the body’s inflammation response, which is critical for healing wounds or fighting bacterial infections. The professors suggest that this cellular-level response to rejection may be nature’s mechanism to help those who were unpopular. Millenniums ago, individuals who had no peers to protect them were vulnerable to injury or attack. Those whose bodies preemptively activated a “pro-inflammatory” response that prepared them to heal from any impending wounds were the most likely to survive.

这个过程可能只会对至少2万个基因中的几十个产生影响,但数量少似乎影响并不小。据斯拉维奇和科尔研究,这些受到影响的基因会在我们的免疫系统中扮演重要角色。有些会与身体的发炎反应有关,而这对伤口愈合或抵御细菌感染是至关重要的。两位教授表示,对拒绝做出的细胞层次的反应,可能是帮助不受欢迎的人的自然机制。几千年前,没有同伴保护的个体容易受伤或遭到袭击。那些身体会先发制人地启动“促炎”反应的人最有可能存活下来,这种反应可以让他们从任何即将发生的创伤中愈合。

Other genes implicated in reactions to rejection are related to viral protection. Professors Slavich and Cole suggest that ancestral humans who had no peers to defend them no longer had a great need to be protected from viruses — who would infect them? — so their bodies conserved energy by reducing their vigilance to infection.

还有一些与对拒绝反应有关的基因,和防病毒存在关联。斯拉维奇和科尔表示,没有同伴保护的的远古人类不再有巨大的防病毒需求——谁会感染他们呢——所以他们的身体会减少自身对感染的警惕性,以保存能量。

Being unfriended on Facebook doesn’t make you more vulnerable to attack by saber-toothed tiger, but our bodies may still be responding as they did 60,000 years ago. Today humans suffer from a wide range of diseases related to chronic inflammation, like cancer, asthma and Alzheimer’s. We’re also very likely to catch the common cold.

今天在Facebook上被解除好友关系,并不会导致你更容易受到长着利齿的老虎的袭击,但我们的身体可能还是会像6万年前那样做出反应。如今,人类会遭受与慢性炎症有关的各种疾病,比如癌症、哮喘和阿尔茨海默氏病。我们也很有可能患上普通的感冒。

That’s most likely why our concern for social standing begins so early and persists throughout our lives. Dozens of studies reveal that children’s popularity can be measured reliably by age 3, and it remains remarkably stable not just through the next dozen years of primary and secondary education but also across contexts, as they move from community to community and into adulthood.

这就是为什么我们对自身社会地位的关注这么早就开始了,并且持续一生。十多项研究发现,儿童的受欢迎程度在三岁时就可以得到可靠的衡量,并且不仅在接下来12年的中小学教育过程中保持惊人的稳定,还是跨环境的,一直伴随着他们从一个社群到另一个社群,直至进入成年。

Yet this same research reveals that there is more than one type of popularity, and most of us may be investing in the wrong kind. Likability reflects kindness, benevolent leadership and selfless, prosocial behavior. Research suggests that this form of popularity offers lifelong advantages, and leads to relationships that confer the greatest health benefits.

然而同样的研究也发现,受欢迎程度的形式并非只有一种,我们多数人可能没有把精力放在正确的那种上。可亲程度反映了亲和举止、友善的领导力和无私、合群的行为。研究显示这种受欢迎程度形式会建立伴随一生的优势,可以促成一种带来最大健康益处的关系。

Likability is markedly different from status — an ultimately less satisfying form of popularity that reflects visibility, influence, power and prestige. Status can be quantified by social media followers; likability cannot.

可亲性和身份地位有很大不同——后一种受欢迎程度带来的满足感要小很多,反映的是曝光度、影响力、权力和威望。身份地位可以通过社交媒体关注者数量来量化;可亲性则不能。

Anyone who has been to high school will recognize the distinction — and recall that those high in one category are often low in the other. Research suggests that despite the great temptations to gain status, those who achieve it ultimately experience greater unhappiness and dissatisfaction, while those who are likable have far greater satisfaction and success.

任何一个上过高中的人都能分辨两者——并且也会记得,那些在一类得分很高的人,在另一类往往很低。研究表明,尽管地位的提升是极具诱惑力的,但那些最终有了地位的人,感受到的是更大的不快乐和不满足,而那些受人喜爱的人,则取得了大得多的满足感和成功。

We may be built by evolution to care deeply about popularity, but it’s up to us to choose the nature of the relationships we want with our peers.

也许进化决定了我们对受欢迎程度有种与生俱来的深度关切,但是和周身的人建立什么性质的关系,却是由我们自己选择的。

Which means that it wouldn’t kill you to step away from Twitter once in a while.

也就是说,少刷一点推不至于要了你的命。

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