Can being a regular at a local bar be good for you? Yes according to a recent study from the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford (yes, that Oxford). The study, titled "Friends On Tap," discusses the social benefits of going to a bar.
As the authors astutely note: "Making and maintaining friendships, however, is something that has to be done face-to-face. The digital world is simply no substitute." I couldn't agree more. If nothing else, a bar forces you to engage in the wonderful art of conversation.
Although "Friends on Tap" focuses on pubs and beer, the concept also applies to cocktail dens. My wife and I have been regulars at a neighborhood bar for many years. We met many our close friends there, and we almost always meet fascinating people.
So go to a neighborhood bar, put down your smartphone, and speak with the person next to you. Don't just take my word for it. Take the word of a bunch of really smart British psychologists.