from my state – literally and figuratively – and other places. i'm not in florida any more, but i haven't given up the sunshine.

7.17.2006

confidAntially

if you’re reading this you are part of an online social network. chances are you have a blog, read other blogs or have a list of ‘friends’ on myspace or linkedin. despite all of this connectivity, according to american sociological review research, we have fewer ‘confidants’ today than we did a decade ago. The survey calls a confidant someone with whom we discuss important matter. funny, considering the massive number of bloggies writing about their intimate relationships, attempts to get pregnant, dating issues, etc.

after considering my own statistic, i wonder how the questions were asked. was there an option for counting a “percentage” of certain people? those with whom one might discuss some important matters but not others? or those who are trusted implicitly, but aren’t regularly consulted simply because of time and distance? a pew research study gets to this “with a notably big figure for what it termed “core ties”: a median number of 15 people with whom respondents said they had discussed important matters, with whom they were in frequent touch or from whom they got substantial help.”

i also believe that some who share intimate aspects of their life online, don’t necessarily share the same information with many of their real world connections. as though despite the fact that we have pictures and geographical locations to identify us, the virtual spectrum still offers this veil of anonymity that makes us more comfortable saying and sharing things than when we’re face to face.

how do you define friend and confidant? how much are you willing to share online? and how does this differ from real world sharing?

4 Comments:

Blogger Cindy said...

I think, in some ways, email, blogs etc. have reduced the depth of contact I have with friends. Though with a couple it allows almost daily contact that we simply couldn't have by phone. The number of my confidants is affected more by my (and some friends') nomadic life than technology.

I used to be an avid letter writer, hand made paper, fountain pens... a whole ritual. I miss the ritual, the quiet pensivity of that time, but the instant answer of email has its positives too. It is closer to a conversation, but also allows the respondant to take a little time in answering, in thinking about the answer. ...usually a good thing.

...still there is no substitute for staring into the eyes of a dear friend as you share your most intimate life tribulations...a kiss hello, a hug good-bye. Email/blogs etc. will also be a poor match in comparison.

7/17/2006 10:47:00 AM

 
Blogger stacey said...

I don't know. It seems like we're racing towards our collective destruction at a faster clip than ever before. And in more ways than eight. Maybe we just don't take that much time anymore to consider matters of true importance, thus reducing the need for confidants - and thus reducing the number of confidants we claim to have.

7/18/2006 11:12:00 AM

 
Blogger Estelle said...

I have one person (beyond AJ) that I share anything and everything with and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she will show up at 2 am because I called her in tears, or she will kick my ass to get me moving again.
I have another person that lives thousands of miles away that I also share many details with that I don't share with anyone. She grounds me, inspires me, advises me, consoles me, and loves me. What more could I ask for?
And I have one person locally that I met online that I feel pretty much the same way about.

And on the blog... I'll write a lot of stuff. But there are many things that I won't, that I share with just a few folks.

And I handwrite my grandmother a letter every week.

7/19/2006 10:39:00 AM

 
Blogger betsy said...

'And I handwrite my grandmother a letter every week.'

you are my hero of the day.

7/20/2006 07:13:00 AM

 

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