We opened our first series of 2019 today called Friendship. I dropped a few references to articles and research that I had read in preparation and a couple people asked for the sources so here’s a few that were referenced in the sermon.
In the mid 20th century most adults had a social network size of approximately 250 people. Today the average American has 338 Facebook friends. Hill and Dunbar. “Social Network Size in Humans” (Human Nature, March 2003)
In 1958 the average adult said they had six “close friends”. In 1984 that had dropped to three. In 2004 it had dropped to two. McPherson et al. “Social Isolation in America” (American Sociological Review, June 2006)
It takes 50 hours of socialization to move from “acquaintance” to “casual friend”. An additional 40hrs to move from “casual friend” to “real friend”. And a further 200hrs to move to “close friend.” Hall. “How Many Hours Does It Take to Make a Friend?” (Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, March 2018)
“As I began digging into the research on men and friendship, I found convincing evidence that men aren’t great at creating lasting, genuine bonds. Men’s friendship tend to be more episodic and short-term — forged over beers after work and then abandoned when someone gets transferred to another department perhaps born climbing up hills with rich conversation, but then lost to injury… Men often rely exclusively on women —their partners, first and foremost, — to be emotional surrogates of a sort… Women, often feel weighed down with the burden of braving our own internal world while mentoring our favorite men to do so, as well.” Martin. “Men and Friendship: Letting the Guard Down First.” (On Being, Sep 2014)