"One way social scientists identify such close individuals is to ask questions like, who do you discuss important matters with? Or, who do you spend your free time with? When answering such questions, people will identify a heterogeneous mix of friends, relatives, coworkers, schoolmates, neighbors, and others. We recently put these questions to a sample of more than three thousand randomly chosen Americans. And we found that the average American has just four close social contacts, with most having between two and six. Sadly, 12 percent of Americans listed no one with whom they could discuss important…"