US Med Voice

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Vol. 3, No. 11 | November 2011

 

 

 

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Real Friendships Need Face Time
Or At Least Voice-to-Voice Contact

By the time you communicate with your 50 to 10US MED Gives Back0 friends on social Web sites, there seems to be little opportunity tovisit or telephone anyone else.

In the United States and across the world, actual friends are being replaced by acquaintances. Electronic contacts are replacing the joy and satisfaction of human contact.

Television, two-career families, suburban sprawl, and personal values mean that fewer people belong to organizations, clubs or churches.

In his book, Bowling Alone, Robert Putnam says we have a growing social-capital deficit. He equates his own experience to bowling, which he once did with teams and organizations. Now people often bowl alone.

In the United Kingdom, the Mental Health Foundation has published The Lonely Society. It says about half of Brits believe they are living in a lonelier society. One in three would like to be closer to family, but social trends are driving them apart.

Today, the average American has only two close friends, and a quarter of Americans say they don't have any.

Shallow friendships prevail, like those with pals on the Internet. Sociologists say they are very worried about the decline in social connections in the United States. A connection with another person may be only a click away, but cultivating a friendship takes more.

People could have everything that life can offer, but if they don't have a good friend, their lives would be fundamentally lacking.

Mental health authorities say there is a secret to close friendship: Put down the device and engage the person. Spend some face-to-face time with a friend even if you "should" be doing something else. At least talk in person on the telephone.

 

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