America's "Friendscape" crisis

In urging the curation of friends, Murphy cited Suzanne Degges-White, chair of counseling at Northern Illinois University, for the term “friendscape.”

“People want fewer and better friends,” Murphy emails. Pre-pandemic, “we were in the grips of a loneliness epidemic. That loneliness wasn’t necessarily from being alone. In fact, it was often a feeling of alienation while in the presence of other people.”

I love this: “You can be friendly with a lot of people but you can only have a few good friends,” Murphy added. “An occasional lunch, back slap at a cocktail party or exchange of texts is sociability but not social support.”

[W]hen your social life becomes a mad dash between events driven by FOMO, you don’t have the time or emotional energy to develop those truly meaningful relationships and attachments that are essential to human health and happiness. And, of course, engaging with people digitally is a poor facsimile. The pandemic showed us that for sure.

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