Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Why so lonesome?

Sebastian Mallaby of the Washington Post provides his reaction to the Social Isolation in America... research.

The question about loneliness is: Why do people do this to themselves? Why do Americans, who reported an average of nearly three close friends in 1985, now report an average of just over two? And why does one in four have nobody with whom to discuss personal issues? This is the age of Oprah and MySpace, of public emoting on television and the Web. Apparently people watch "Friends" but don't actually have many.

Of course, where he is wrong is that a “confidant“ and a “friend” are not the same thing. Fewer people knowing the most intimate details of your life could be quite positive. People talk. People having no confidants (isolates) is an issue, but having fewer is not. I told you this study was going to be misinterpreted.

No comments: