Oct 22, 2023Liked by Mark Hummel

"Shallowization" is right. I first noticed trivialization on social media where "friend" no longer meant someone you care about and who cares about you and you help each other.

"Friends" became a competition of collecting people you don't know, probably don't care to know, and will never meet. Yaay, I'm successful b/c I have 10k, 50K, 100K "friends" or "followers" who took a millisecond to click a button. That's what I call a serious commitment.

Are these "friends" going to take you to the airport to catch an o'dark-thirty flight? Help you move? Be there when you lose a loved one? Are you going to be there for them the same way? Hell no.

Friendship has been reduced to clicking the appropriate emoticon.

OTOH, b/c of the internet, I've connected with people I never would have otherwise met who truly have become friends by the traditional definition. Instead of letters, we keep in touch by email, phone, and zoom.

Characters in books become friends b/c they speak to you and you like to revisit them.

Glad to count you a friend, Mark!

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Well said, Debbie. There are some frightening studies that have been released recently on the mental health impacts of the shift in the meanings of friendship and connection that you describe. To use a phrase my mother loved when repeating the words of another, on the friendship front, "Ditto, cabbagehead!" (Not sure where the cabbagehead came from but it was a term of affection in our house.)

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