Lack of friendship


I was wondering, why do people now have less friends than maybe 40-60 years ago?

Is it becasue of the Internet/Facebook?

I mean it seems like neighbors don’t really socialize anymore or things like that.

Is it a loss of community or soemthing like that?

What do you all think?



well in my case it is because I am so old my contemporaries keep dying on me.


I suffer from a lack of friends in the area that I live in, but I am blessed to have friends all over the country from my years as an Army Wife. All of my childhood friends are back home where I am from. Hopefully soon this will change!

I do believe that true real friends are hard to come by, my friends number is rather small in comparison to the number of acquaintances I have.

People have become more selfish and turned inward to their own intrests and are less into their communities. Sad but true. One of the things I will miss the most about the military life is the sense of being part of the community.


[quote="AmieLynn, post:3, topic:241004"]
People have become more selfish and turned inward to their own intrests and are less into their communities.


Sad but true, I agree. This is why I can't stand suburban areas... everyone's out to save and moisturize their own skin :p My mother's motto was basically "Worry about yourself, don't try to help people until you get yourself together." Jesus on the other hand teaches that helping others helps us get ourselves together.


**I think you have to look back at history. Very simplified, when people didn't have light, they went to bed as soon as the sun went down. When oil lamps came into being, the rich could waste the oil by staying up later, and they had more time to socialize. Things progressed, and we get to electricity. You now had people who had the time to socialize after work, on their own time.

People never had air-conditioning, so at night, they would go out on the front porch to sit where it was cool, or to go for a walk to cool off. Not having T.V., computers, etc., there wasn't much else to do and that's when people stopped along on their walks to visit with one another.

Moving more modern, Before WWII, wives stayed home, and the family lived on one salary. With the women home all day, they would visit each other as they hung their wash outside, or visit one another with a piece of pie and a cup of coffee in the kitchen.
On Fridays and Saturday nights, the couples might get together for a game of cards, or a board game.
Wasn't (by modern standards ) too much for the kids to do except listen to the radio at night, read, or play with your toys and come up with imaginary ways to play with those toys. During the day, the kids always played outside with other kids, with much socializing going on. Nobody played inside unless you were sick, or it was raining.

Everyone sat and ate their meals together at the table, and most people stayed home at night as a family.

Then the T.V. made it's great appearance. People now had to rush through dinner, so they could watch the T.V. People now had to be quiet (when they used to be able to talk), because you wanted to hear the T.V. Kids would do their homework a little faster because they wanted to watch some T.V. show. people didn't go outside on their porch and visit anymore, everyone was inside watching the T.V.

It has now just become "easier" to push a button to communicate. We are all about what is fast and easy. We are contacting people more, and throwing more of ourselves out there with our all information all over the place, but we are communicating less in reality. We have isolated ourselves onto little islands.

Kids that used to spend the whole afternoon playing, are now driven from scheduled activity to scheduled activity. They don't have time to make or spend with a friend. It's now seen as 'wasted time'. Kids need to get off of computers and video games, and join the real world.

I know of two, four year old kids, who have their own bedrooms with their own bathrooms, their own cell phones, their own computers, their own t.v., and their bedrooms have a small refrigerator filled with snacks. Why does this kid ever have to come out of the bedroom and interact with the rest of the family ?

Just look at history, and how we have changed for the "Better."**


Television started it. Back before TV, socializing was all the entertainment people had.


[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:6, topic:241004"]
Television started it. Back before TV, socializing was all the entertainment people had.


cough radio... :o


[quote="puzzleannie, post:2, topic:241004"]
well in my case it is because I am so old my contemporaries keep dying on me.



But you are a source of wisdom, puzzleannie!


[quote="juansdec, post:1, topic:241004"]
I was wondering, why do people now have less friends than maybe 40-60 years ago?

Is it becasue of the Internet/Facebook?

I mean it seems like neighbors don't really socialize anymore or things like that.

Is it a loss of community or soemthing like that?

What do you all think?



Nowadays, friends are all online! Yes, technology is partly to blame because it is so much easier to talk via skype, FB, Twitter, etc.... Of course, it comes down to making a choice. :shrug:


I think it is because Technology has catered to our every need to sadly many people do not see the need to go out an interact with others. They would rather sit home and sift through hundreds of channels on the tv, play video games, or surf countless websites for entertainment than go out and develop friendships.


yeah, it seems like neighbors don't get to know each other anymore.... and here where I live all we have is the Mall/shopping Center and that's about it. I live in older suburbs-they were suburbs in the 1950's-1970's.

So it seems like Church/Mass is the only place to make Real friends, at least here in my area-east County San Diego...

But I do have and do use facebook......


Sometimes, I do envy the ease in which people could make friends in the 'olden' days, but I have to wonder how 'true' it was.

I mean, for all I know, people put up with a lot of junk from their neighbours because back then, setting boundaries was not socially acceptable. Also, if socializing was so great, why did people give it up for TV? After all, I like face to face contact and I value that when I am out and about with a purpose, no one disturbs me. So I purposely do not carry a cell phone. Obviously, I am the minority since most people do carry a cell phone and love to receive calls anytime of the day.

When I bump into people I have not seen in a while and am asked 'Are you on face book?' I proudly say 'no'. I have no use to keep in touch with someone if both of our schedules conflict to the point where I need face book. Most people see that as a reason to dismiss me to which I say good ridance.

So, yes technology has took away the need to socialize but obviously, most people couldn't have seen the socializing as a big thing to give up



Living in the outback where then earest 'mall' is a 40 minute drive away and possessing no license for me :D,

I have problems because I dont 'get' my generation. I often feel i was born in the wrong era :shrug:. I get along with older people easier then i do with people my own age.


[quote="puzzleannie, post:2, topic:241004"]
well in my case it is because I am so old my contemporaries keep dying on me.


O, I so sorry for your losses!

But, we young need wisdom, comfort and friendship from older people! So, please offer your friendship!

I would come you to have a coffe with me, but I am in Europe... so, it is a bit complicated. But surely young people in your parish do need older people around!


Demographics change tremendously. I actually feel people in the suburbs make closer friendships than city folk.

The return of young adults into the cities equals rejuvenated neighborhoods, but my contemporaries grew up on video games and AIM. No one is out and socializing, except in bars with a small group and most know that "Cheers" is just a TV show. You're not going to find that camaraderie in a yuppie bar.

Now, it's texting and Facebook. "Liking" statues and sending a text saying "whats up" have replaced talking, laughing and spending what little free time one might have with others.

I live in a city with lots of neighborhoods with young adults, and lots of parishes, but all except for a very small number do not have any sort of regular social events (and those tend to be organized "Go Out To a Bar After Mass" nights). No wonder so many people my age (under 30) have feelings of insecurity and loneliness, especially the practicing Catholics.


I think it was more “true” than what we have now…and it’s not like the older gens just had all that technology one day and gave up their face to face socializing for Facebook. It happened gradually, over the last 60 years or so. Each generation has retreated into our houses more and more, with new toys to keep us happy and tranquilized…

Like for instance, when I grew up, we had the main TV channels, ABC, NBC, and CBS. PBS came on later. That was it. And there was no 24/7 TV at all. It went dark after about 2 am if not earlier, and wasn’t back on until 6 or 7 a.m. And if you didn’t like any of the shows, you turned it off. We still played outside most of the time, and neighbors talked more b/c we were outside more. But then after cable TV got started, there were more and more channels and automatic changers, etc. and then movies on demand, etc. and then video games…I was a young adult when the only video games were found in ARCADES for goodness sake! LOL you still had to actually get out of your house and go somewhere to play them! How quaint.

So then came Windows and the internet…PCs that everyone could run and PC games…then high speed internet…smaller PCs and GameBoys, etc. Every new toy just brings us fun in a smaller format, connection to others but not really…like Facebook…even this forum…:wink:

Literally a person could stay inside his or her house forever and just get stuff shipped in…never know anyone in real life…and it would not be that weird. You can work at home, through the computer, even have someone bring your food in. We don’t depend on anyone else for anything the way we used to.

It’s a weird world these days.



I can answer for me and what I’ve seen…

As for a sense of community–Many neighbors here have families they count on and they shun their neighbors because they have no need for them. There is no need for a sense of community as they get it from their family or friends they’ve met elsewhere. There are a few people around here prefer to know their neighbors. They are precious gems in my opinion.

As for Facebook–it’s ADHD communication. A status update here or there. Ok, but what is REALLY going on? No one talks anymore unless they send a message. There’s no need to focus one’s attention on any one thing for a prolonged period of time, unlike a conversation, even one that happens online.

As for friends–I’ve always had a hard making friends. I’m an Aspie so socializing with others has always been difficult. I’ve made very few friends, but they are people that are true friends. Unfortunately/fortunately, it was thanks to technology that I’ve been able to make the friends I’ve made. Most of them are spread all over the world. There is one who is nearby (and that is an hour away).


too much technology too fast… unibomber was correct on that in his statement


Maybe I am in the minority here, but I definitely have more friends now than ever and I use technology to help me make plans and facilitate more and more face-to-face activities. For people who live far away and I only get to see 1-2 times a year, I use Facebook/e-mail to keep in touch. As a kid I knew most people in the neighborhood and would play outside most of the time despite having options on TV. Nowadays I’m the same way, I organize things via all the technology we have at our disposal and go out and do things in a social setting. I think its great to have cell phones and so forth. Now you can simply call a friend and meet up with them if they are already out rather than missing out completely if they are not home and you can’t get them on their house line.

I do agree when it comes to neighbors and feel like less people take the time to get to know their neighbors. I don’t really know my neighbors (but I live in an apt building). In my parents suburb community they still know the neighbors despite people moving/dying over the years.

Being proactive is more what its about rather than technology changing. I think a person who may not have many friends 25 years ago is likely to be in the same position today.


I spent my childhood up a tree with my head in a book, literally. So I was not out making many friends anyway. The friends I grew up with were around and understood that most days I preferred to read, and I didn’t go out of my way to make new ones, they just fell in as they made friends with someone else in the group and I had a new friend.

Fast forward a few years, I no longer climb trees but I still am found with my head in a book. I probably watch too much t.v by someone’s standards, I spend a lot of time on the internet (I am the computer whole day for work anyway), however I think I make more friends now than I did when I was a kid, in person not just on the net.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit