A friend recently sent me a link to an article about friendship, or more accurately, about the lack of it. Fewer people are reporting that they have friends, and the folks that do have friends have fewer of them.
Research done by Professor Lynn Smith-Lovin, of Duke University documents this trend. Oddly, at least from my perspective, is that the poorer you are, and the less education you have, the fewer close friends you have. I would have thought that friendship was one of the few things impervious to class distinctions.
I find the trend disturbing. I value my friendships, and really couldn't imagine a life with no one to turn to in times of happiness and sadness. How could you make yourself go through the day?
The world is getting smaller. With the internet and email, it's easier to keep in touch, easier to "meet" people from all over the globe -- you no longer have to have something in common with the folks on your street or at your work -- you can find like minded folks anywhere on earth. You can be the biggest oddball in your town, and guaranteed, you could find a dozen folks just like you on-line.
Is it that people just don't care to make friends any more? Do we not want connections? I find it hard to believe. Maybe we just don't know how to meet people, how to form friendships. Maybe we need to start emphasizing "social skills" when teaching children.
Per usual, I have no answers, just questions. But if you are a friend, and you are reading this, I love you, I appreciate you, and I'm here, whenever.