“In 1985, the average American had three people in whom to confide matters that were important to them, says a study in today’s American Sociological Review. In 2004, that number dropped to two, and one in four had no close confidants at all.
“Close relationships are a safety net, Lynn Smith-Lovin, professor of sociology at Duke University in Durham, N.C. says. ‘Whether it’s picking up a child or finding someone to help you out of the city in a hurricane, these are people we depend on.’
“The study finds fewer contacts are from clubs and neighbors; people are relying more on family…. The percentage of people who confide only in family increased from 57% to 80%, and the number who depend totally on a spouse is up from 5% to 9%, the study found. ‘If something happens to that spouse or partner, you may have lost your safety net,’ Smith-Lovin says.” (Source: USA Today)
“In this age of email, instant and text messaging, cell phones, and our super-sized-surpassing 300 million citizens–nation, the very idea that we are becoming increasingly isolated and disconnected from each other seems absurd. However, all of our cyberspace playthings are not satisfying our needs for closeness and friendship. Developing social networks beyond the family is a necessary survival skill. Feelings of isolation and loneliness in the extreme can lead to physical and mental illnesses. What accounts for so much social disconnectedness? Networks beyond the family is a necessary survival skill. Feelings of isolation and loneliness in the extreme can lead to physical and mental illnesses. What accounts for so much social disconnectedness?
“Most of us have little leisure time. Friendships require time and commitment. At the end of the day, most of us retreat home and want nothing more than to close the door on the outside world. We go indoors to be entertained by our electronic gadgets. For the most part, we are not hanging out or walking around the neighborhood to visit with neighbors. For that matter, we probably have not uttered a full sentence to the person next door since we moved into our house or apartment. Privacy and a do not disturb attitude are the mottos of the day.
“Traditionally, women have been responsible for developing the family’s social diary and maintaining friendships with other couples. Sustaining such a social network takes a great deal of time and energy. Most women today are working full time.” (Source: American Sociological Review).
My Comment: All these symptoms will grow until we understand their purpose: to show us that the only solution to all our problems is in mutual guarantee.