There's a new study out
that shows Americans are creating fewer friendship and becoming lonelier. As a society, we're down from having an average of three confidants per person in 1985 to have two these days.
It's interesting that the these results come out during the holiday season, which can exacerbate the problem a bit. It seems I can barely turn on the television set these days without seeing that blasted "Every kiss begins with Kay" commercial in which some guy gets the woman in his life a diamond something and they gaze at each longingly, looking totally fulfilled within the relationship. Oh yeah, and then they kiss.
Ha, ha, single person, it seems to say. See what you are totally missing out on.
On a serious note, one thing I do wonder about this marvel that is the Internet--it promises us all a better way to connect. According to the umpteen SPAM mailings I get a day, my ultimate connection whether it be love or just satisfying my lust for an evening or two is only a click away. But I do wonder if that makes it so we're more disconnected than before. If I blog or use MySpace or any of those other social networks, I can connect with other people. With the use of instant messengers, I can exchange in real time discussions with friends, regardless of distance. Plug in a microphone to my computer and I can chat using my own voice and hear the voice of the person on the other end. I can download podcasts so I can hear discussions by people about a variety of topics and even leave a voice mail or two to contribute to the debate.
In all of that, I can feel pretty connected or like I've got a whole bunch of friends just out there and ready to talk. And don't get me wrong--I love and appreciate my friends made via blogging and other Internet outlets. But what about when I want to catch a movie, grab a bite to eat or have companionship while consuming an adult beverage (cause if you drink alone too much, you're just an alcoholic)? Do I have that connection then?
It's something I've thought a lot about--long before this study's results were made public. And I have often wondered--as the world gets smaller and smaller does the distance between us relationship wise get larger and larger?
posted by Michael Hickerson at 12/05/2006 11:30:00 AM