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Categories of Friendship

Amanda Mull writing for The Atlantic:

Casual friends and acquaintances can be as important to well-being as family, romantic partners, and your closest friends. In his initial study, for example, he found that the majority of people who got new jobs through social connections did so through people on the periphery of their lives, not close relations.

I have personally found this to be the case; nearly every job I have taken or been offered has been from people on my social periphery. The overall gist of the article is that weak and moderate social connections form an outer circle or periphery that serves a different but equally important role in human well-being as our inner circle of friends.

By ditching Instagram and WhatsApp during the last year, I feel like I have lost some of these connections – but I’ve also had opportunity to develop new ones in video parties. I feel as connected, if not more, with my friends now as I did prior to all this. And it is my hope that as we come out of pandemia, people will appreciate “friendships of all types” as vital to personal and societal well-being.