Do We Even Want Associates, After the Pandemic?

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Do We Even Need Friends, After the Pandemic?

That depends of course on the friends.

Friends generally fall in tiers, like those old food pyramid posters in the school cafeteria, except in this case the tiny triangle at the top is where the good friends are, your best friends who provide the most food. The broad base of the pyramid represents the acquaintances, the art-friends, the friends of friends, and gracious individuals who, like matcha cupcakes or pigs in a blanket, are great to taste at a party but not make a full meal.

Such loose acquaintances can be classified as “weak relationships” to conjure up a term coined by Stanford University sociologist Mark Granovetter in the 1970s, as Amanda Mull wrote in The Atlantic in January. They were also the first to leave during the pandemic when shops, restaurants, and offices closed.

Ms. Mull praised these near friends who were suddenly absent from their lives: “The guy who’s always in the gym at the same time as you, the barista who starts placing your usual order while you’re at the back of the row . ”

While these people may not make it on your phone, they matter when summed up, said Dr. Adams. She feels it in her own life. As a music fan, she misses the dancing crowds that used to be in Greensboro clubs. She will dare to go back at some point. The scene will be different.

“I know from Facebook that a lot of people have moved or died. So if I go to the corner to listen to music, a lot of people I know won’t be there,” she said. “In some cases I don’t even know their last names. But we enjoyed listening to music together. “

Not everyone wants all of those extra people back. Rachel Stevens, 35, producer at a radio station in Bozeman, Mont., Was fine without the “Riffraff”, the strange half-friends.