“In contact” but not connected

During our discussion on hot and cold media, some of you observed that however much more we are “in contact” with people (email, text messaging, instant messaging, etc.), we seem to be less connected. Well, a recent study confirms this.

Americans don’t have as many close friends as they used to.

We’re networking on myspace.com, sharing photos and text messaging on our cellphones, and blogging at all hours. But a major national survey being released today shows that the average number of people with whom Americans discuss important matters has dropped from three to two in just two decades, a steep falloff in confidants that startled the researchers.

The study by sociologists at Duke University and the University of Arizona provides powerful evidence for the argument that the country is becoming increasingly socially isolated even as cellphones, the Internet, and other technology make people more interconnected. The authors found that fully one-quarter of Americans say they have no one with whom to discuss their most important personal business. (link courtesy of a fellow blogger).