Friday, July 21, 2006


Researchers tell us that we Americans have fewer close confidants than ever before. A few years ago, the average was three and this year it's down to two people that qualify for important discussions. And the percentage of people who put one non-relative in this group went down fairly precipitously, from 80% to 57%, implying that we don't have time to make friends or we don't go outside our own families or our definition of friendship may have shifted.

On the other hand, we've just found out from the Pew Research folks that there are now 12 million people blogging, with males and females taking to this new communication form almost equally. Even more interesting, 57 million people are reading blogs regularly. And the majority of the blogs have to do with the experience of just living life, in spite of the high profile ones on politics and tech. Sounds like people are discussing important things.

And blogs, people talking about what's important to them, are definitely a huge way to get the word out--about almost anything, according to Steve Rubel, among others.

Does anyone have any idea how many emails a day there are or in a month or a year? Don't some percentage of those count as important discussions? Ironic that high tech has pushed us into what had become an outmoded way of expressing ourselves just a few years ago--writing. As some fabulous letter-writers of centuries past knew, far more depth and intimacy can often be expressed in writing than in face-to-face conversations. And, bonus for our minds, thoughtful writing usually takes good thinking.

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