Snapchat just held its first event in Malaysia, and it’s a rather informative one. The multimedia messaging platform — the originator of the Stories feature, might I add — shares a study that revolves around the friendship, claiming that Malaysians are one of the friendliest individuals and have more close friends compared to other regions.

The Snap study discusses a few aspects that affects how individuals perceive and act around friendship. For example, people in India, the Middle East and SouthEast Asia have more best friends compared to individuals in Australia, Europe and the United States.

As for us Malaysians, it was discovered that we have more best and close friends compared to global average. Despite that, the study reveals that Malaysians are also the ones who most likely want to widen their social network. 

Not only do Malaysians want to increase their social network, 27% of them are also proven to seek for a diversified social circle. According to Dr Nur Hafeeza Ahmad Pazil — a sociologist at USM Penang, this is because “Malaysia is a multicultural society, and we live alongside people from many different backgrounds.”

While it seems like Malaysians are all about making more friends, the study found Gen Z to be more selective when it comes to letting people into their circle of close friends. Gen Z prefers to be closer to a small group friends while Gen Y loves sharing on a public platform; UK friendship expert, Kate Leaver states that Gen Z is more cautious due to Gen Y’s high presence on social media — exposing the risks and dangers of it, which is why they’re more cautious when it comes to sharing their life publicly on Facebook. 

The study also discusses the relationship between different communication platforms and the level of intimacy in relationships. Those on Snapchat tend to have smaller networks with deeper relationships than the ones who are more attached to Facebook and Instagram.

Moreover, study shows Malaysians are more appreciative of honesty in their friendships, especially when it comes to feelings. On the other hand, individuals from abroad would prioritise the amount of time spent together. Digital communication is also relatively important as majority of Malaysians believe videos and photos helps in self-expression, and even emojis can provide more clarity in conversations.

In conclusion, friendship is vital especially since Malaysians are proven to be happier after interaction with our friends — both in real life and online. Psychologist Wolfgang Kruger said, “People who have very few or zero friends tend to suffer from anxiety and depression and are sick more often.” He also mentioned that life span for those who have less friends decreases by 20%.

Well, guess it’s time for all of us to strengthen our friendships.