Now Imaginary Friends Are Going Extinct, Too

Girl by herself.
Photo: Juanmonino/Getty Images

Devastating news incoming: Imaginary friends are reportedly dying out.

At least, that’s according to a new U.K. survey from, which I take no pleasure in reporting. Per The Telegraph, out of 1,000 nursery workers surveyed, 72 percent percent said that fewer children have invisible friends than they did five years ago, the potential cause of which likely won’t come as a shock. Two-thirds of those surveyed placed the blame on the growing prevalence of screens like iPads and cell phones, which kids can now turn to whenever they don’t know what to do with themselves.

“I think that children are not allowed to be ‘bored’ any more,” David Wright, the owner of Paint Pots Nursery in England, told the Daily Mail. “When children have free time to themselves, they find something creative to do with their mind, such as forming an imaginary friend.”

If imaginary friends really are endangered, the crisis demands urgent action. But it might not be as bad as it sounds. “One or two children in our nursery do have imaginary friends but they mainly come out at home, when children are alone,” Wright told the Daily Mail, which leads me to believe that many nursery workers just haven’t met their kids’ invisible friends. But still: One or two children? I hope there are no more than three children in this nursery.

Anyway, I would like to take this opportunity to tell my old imaginary friend, Sarah, that though we don’t hang out like we used to, you’re still real to me.

Now Imaginary Friends Are Going Extinct, Too