When was the last time you went out with a friend for dinner, or made a date with a pal to see a movie? If you have to go through your desk calendar to figure it out, you’re not alone. A recent report reveals that Canadian women’s social lives appear to be shrinking.
Statistics Canada (via National Post) reveals that fewer women are finding time for a social life than in previous years. In fact, the number of women getting out for a little extracurricular fun (and no, that doesn’t include going to the gym, or at least we hope it doesn’t) has gone down by eight percent –from 70 to 62 percent— since 1998.
It’s natural to assume and Stats Can seems to confirm that this shortfall in girl time is due to increased demands on women’s busy schedules. Oddly, however, it’s less of a reason than in years past.
In 2010 only 36 percent of women said they didn’t have enough time to see friends and family as compared to 41 percent who reported the same in 1998.
If time isn’t as significant an issue, what’s changed in the last decade and how has that affected women’s social lives?
The Post article suggests that the rise of the Internet and social marketing may have something to do with the shift, especially as a reported 54 percent of Canadian Facebook users are female.
Sociology professor Patricia Leavy tells the paper that Facebook may fill the gap for many women. Says Leavy: “Social media has given a lot of people the idea that they’re more connected than they are. Putting a post on Facebook about what’s going on in your life is hardly the same as a ladies’ night out, but it may give the illusion that [you’re] social.”
Are more women settling for the illusion of a social life over the real thing? And if so, how is that affecting our emotional lives? There may be a simple test to discover the answer: Next time you see your best friend give her a hug. Feels great, right? Now try the same with your MacBook.
Notice a difference?