Friendships are struggling. Recently, I watched a video titled “The friendship recession” by Richard Reeves who pointed out the very real challenges our society is facing when it comes to friendships.
There has been an increasing decline in the amount of friends we have, people are seeing their friends less, people are meeting new people less frequently and it negatively affects our health.
According to the Survey Center on American Life “The financial devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic has been well-documented, but less widely reported is the emotional toll many Americans faced as a result of quarantine requirements and self-imposed social isolation. Nearly half (47 percent) of Americans report having lost touch with at least a few friends over the past 12 months. Nearly one in 10 (9 percent) Americans report having lost touch with most of their friends.”
Loneliness is not good for our mental health and not having friends to turn to for emotional support in hard times is going against our fundamental nature as humans.
We require connection in order to be happy and healthy. As we’re coming out of a pandemic that isolated us at our homes, we have also lost physical spaces that weren’t our homes or school or work that provided opportunities to meet new people.
Experiences like Anytown are really important to push towards young people; it is a way in which they can meet new people different from them, giving them a sense of belonging in a community that is inclusive.
Most of the friends who I’ve kept in touch with the longest I met my delegate year. My closest friends I met at Anytown and our lives would have never crossed if we hadn’t decided to apply that summer and be open to connection.
Anytown camp allowed me to form bonds with people who understand me and love me, people who give my life purpose and support me in times of need.
It is critical we prioritize friendship in our lives for our well being and joy.
Anytown Board Member