This morning's New York Times had an interesting article launching off that idea. Among other tragic observations, it said:
A recent study by sociologists at Duke and the University of Arizona found that, on average, most adults only have two people they can talk to about the most important subjects in their lives — serious health problems, for example, or issues like who will care for their children should they die. And about one-quarter have no close confidants at all.I don't find this idea too startling. In our increasingly connective society, we find ourselves more and more isolated. We can reach one another via IM, SMS, or email at any moment of the day, and yet we never really touch anyone.
Although I try not to spend too much time on introspection (in most cases, it's not healthy), I have found myself wondering "Who are my friends...". I'm not questioning if I have them - I've recently had the realization that I have more friends than I ever have in my life - it's just that I'm realizing they're not always who I thought they were. Relationships that I thought I could count on have evaporated, and others have suddenly materialized (or more accurately, I suddenly saw them there) with people who I could really count on.
I feel like I've been traded by bowling teams. Beats the heck out of bowling alone, though.
*Check this link for some fascinating research on social capital in your part of the world...