The Student News Site of Kent State University

a magazine

The Student News Site of Kent State University

a magazine

The Student News Site of Kent State University

a magazine

The Friendship Recession

art: ceci foley

There is a friendship recession going on. Let’s talk about it. According to Daniel A. Cox in an article from the Survey Center on American Life, “Americans report having fewer close friendships than they once did, talking to their friends less often, and relying less on their friends for personal support.” It is a common experience to lose touch with friends. It is natural to outgrow or lose a connection that was once strong. Even though this is common, not having a friend to turn to can be harmful to your mental and physical health. According to researcher and sociologist Kathleen Mullan Harris, the lack of social interaction exposes your body to stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline which increases the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.

People Change: How can we deal with it?

We must make peace with the fact that people change. The causes may differ but the simple fact remains the same– life is never constant or fixed, and neither are people. . As a generation of people who experienced a pandemic, we dealt with enormous change and attempted to accommodate our relationships in a time when we were dealing with so much uncertainty. Whether it was quarenting, or staying six-feet apart, the way we interacted with others shifted in immeasurable ways.. As a result of this complete change in how we lived, many of our relationships had to adapt.

Much like the pandemic, going to different colleges than your high-school friends is a circumstance that can falter relationships. Drifting away from friendships from the past is painful, but there is a hard truth that not all relationships were made to last for a lifetime. Sharing experiences is usually what brings people together, and being in a completely new environment, with new responsibilities, while also trying to maintain high-school relationships, requires a lot of effort. It is unnerving and sad to accept some friends come and go. However, with those that we desire to keep close, there are some ways to protect your relationship from fading away.

Friendships Are Like A Full-Time Job

The truth is that friendships are a lot of work, and we are all tired. As with any other relationship, they require time, care, love and attention.As we already know, life happens, and it can be difficult to stay in touch. Putting in the extra effort will go a long way in any friendship.

The keyword here is effort. Without effort, there is no way of maintaining a close friendship.
Texting or calling to check in, making plans and responding to texts in a timely manner will show interest and care.

When effort is not the problem, there are also “modern world” complications that make maintaining friendships harder. For example, according to Steve Jhon for his Insider article, Americans are working more and traveling more for work, which leaves no room to schedule quality time with friends. Additionally, going out can be expensive, and the logistics of meeting up with friends can become difficult depending on the distance or the lack of reliable public transportation.

Journalist, Derek Thompson, even coined a term for the “work problem” called “workism.” This is when a person believes their work is a part of their identity. Maintaining a friendship is equivalent to a full-time job considering the amount of effort it takes, and our generation is working more than ever. Consequently, individuals are forced into working overtime– their work life and their personal life.

A tight work schedule is draining, but it is still important to try to find time for friendships to maintain a work-life balance

Friendship Road Blocks

As for the spending money and transportation problem, every meet-up doesn’t need to require a destination. Just hanging out and enjoying each other’s company ,or even FaceTiming, can be just as fun.

What oftentimes blocks people from getting close is fear of rejection. Creating meaningful and genuine connections can be scary, and it means that people are going to see beyond our most pleasant and social version of ourselves. However, a true friend is going to choose to love you either way. Getting past small talk can be daunting, but by showing interest in a potential friendship, connections can happen more naturally.

Despite the friendship recession, people never stopped needing attention, support and love. Friends are essential to our well-being, and we cannot be in a state of mind where work is our only priority. The reality is friendships come and go, but we must make an effort to keep our friendships alive and thriving. We must fight the friendship recession, and not succumb to the pressures of our work lives. Navigating friendships can be overwhelming, but true friends are worth the effort.

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Hi! I’m Annie Gleydura, A Magazine’s editor-in-chief. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine. 

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