Since 1985, the average number of close friends an american had dropped from three to two. This decline is a huge deal considering that most features in people’s lives sustain stability from year to year.
There are many potential reasons for this dramatic decrease. For example, the average person is spending much more time in the labor force, shortening time with their family and friends. Families are continuing to grow smaller because of the expenses of having children. They’re moving to the suburbs where there are less potential ties to be made. Also, less people are joining groups and organizations, disabling them to meet people. Even technology is providing a barrier to social capital. When people use cell phones, email, and facebook to communicate, it’s shortening the amount of time they spend with their friends in real life. We have developed many habits over the past years that are disabling us from making close ties.
Friendships are very important, so this decline is inevitably a huge issue. Overall, friends provide benefits for each other. You can confide in them with your issues, and they provide safety nets, offering help with favors. Confidantes give you support. These ties make you much more civically engaged. Without close friends, America is predicted to experience a drastic increase in crime rate, and less generosity. Kids will fail to thrive, and politics will coarsen. Eventually, death will even come sooner.
America needs help in pulling our average number of close friends back up. This will not only be beneficial to the friends, but it will also provide more social capital in communities throughout the U.S.