Recent researches reveal that having a social network increases life expectancy.
For example a meta-analisys conducted by Brigham University and published on PloS Medicine last year shows that people with strong social relationships had a 50% higher rate of survival as compared to their counterparts who scored less on measures of social relationships.
But in the new millenium social relationships are not the same anymore.
So it is reasonable to question if only real-life relationships or also web-based relationships can exert positive effect on our life expectancy.
Social media and the so called Web 2.0 are changing not only the way we interact to each other but probably our physical brain also.
According to the brain scans of more than 100 university students examined in a research published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B Biological Sciences) , the size of certain parts of your brain are linked to the amount of Facebook friends you have!!
Furthermore cognitive impairment and Alzheimer disease progression is faster if you have few cognitive inputs and poor social life.
There are few strong evidences that any behavioural change can reduce your risk of developing nurological chronic diseases.
But, most probably a good mediterranian diet, to quit intoxicating substances and conducting a satisfying social (REAL AND ONLINE) life is a Good Idea!!
1) Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review - Plos Sept. 2010
2) Online social network size is reflected in human brain structureProc. R. Soc. B published online before print October 19, 2011, doi:10.1098/rspb.2011.1959