New research has finally proved what we know in our hearts: Taylor Swift and her squad have peaked. Also: Your own popularity has peaked — or will — once you turn 25. (Taylor Swift, for the record, is 26.)
In a study published in Royal Society Open Science this week, researchers from Oxford and Aalto universities analyzed 3.2 million Europeans’ cell-phone records from 2007, tracking the frequency and length of phone calls across age and gender. They found that people who were 25 or younger talked on the phone more often than any other age group — meaning you’re most popular when you’re 25. Then it’s all downhill from there!
Friend groups decreased in size until age 45, when they stayed steady for about ten years, and diminished again after 55. Among other findings: Men under 40 called more people than women but were, let’s say, superficially popular: Women spent more time on the phone with the fewer people they called. After age 40, women were calling more friends than the men.
The research can be partly attributed to maturity: During marriage and parenthood, you’re more likely to invest your time in fewer people. But it all prompts the real question: How the hell do you make friends in your late-20s? Science is proving it’s pretty hard.