This is not to say family isn't important, because it certainly is. However, the days of family being around the corner or even in the next city are gone. Families are spread out all over the continent, making relationships harder to come by. In addition, families are full of stress and political anxiety. That's why friends have become a surrogate family for many.
Why are friendships so important, especially as we get older? William Chopik, an assistant psychology professor at Michigan State University offers his insight. "Family relationships are still important, but it looks like friendships become more important over time, and then kind of dwarfs the family relationship."
For many people, Chopik found that friendship brings greater health and happiness (excluding spouses and children), which in turns increases people's middle and senior years. Although there is an interesting twist to the friend over family thought. Seniors experience more stress from friends than from family which can result in health problems.
So why do we prefer our friends over family at times? Because we can choose our friends and thus we enjoy their company more. We do activities more often with friends than family. Being able to choose our friends and being selective about it really matters.