[Air-l] Americans and social isolation

Richard Forno rforno at infowarrior.org
Fri Jun 23 10:56:00 PDT 2006

It would be interesting to see how this fits into the whole "being alone
together" argument within a technology context....for example, someone who
doesn't want to be around people but who socializes happily in a MMORPG
environment or spends hours upon hours on AIM or IRC.

Interesting ponderage for a Friday afternoon....


Social Isolation Growing in U.S., Study Says
The Number of People Who Say They Have No One to Confide In Has Risen

By Shankar Vedantam
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 23, 2006; A03

Americans are far more socially isolated today than they were two decades
ago, and a sharply growing number of people say they have no one in whom
they can confide, according to a comprehensive new evaluation of the decline
of social ties in the United States.

A quarter of Americans say they have no one with whom they can discuss
personal troubles, more than double the number who were similarly isolated
in 1985. Overall, the number of people Americans have in their closest
circle of confidants has dropped from around three to about two.

The comprehensive new study paints a sobering picture of an increasingly
fragmented America, where intimate social ties -- once seen as an integral
part of daily life and associated with a host of psychological and civic
benefits -- are shrinking or nonexistent. In bad times, far more people
appear to suffer alone.

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