Sociology professor Rebecca G. Adams in a 2012 New York Times article says:
“As external conditions change, it becomes tougher to meet the three conditions that sociologists since the 1950s have considered crucial to making close friends: proximity; repeated, unplanned interactions; and a setting that encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other. This is why so many people meet their lifelong friends in college.”
My 2c on this? Well. I appreciate that idea that you meet your lifelong friends in college. I get it that you don’t get to have that later, easily. But, I also know that you can attain that collegiate atmosphere if you design for it.
Design for quality. And deep, meaningful, progressive connexion.
My explorations have led me to writing in online circles, no more than four per circle, since 2014. In Cojournaling, Atelier S P A C E, the magazine S P A C E, and its follow-on project, Papers. So many ways to circle together people in an atmosphere of camaraderie, welcome, and safety. Emotional safety. Is a thing!, and I think that’s why I’ve personally enjoyed and valued my own projects to gather us and slow down to be together. In this way of being that feels like it leads to ‘true friendship,’ as defined by the sociologist, above.
Of course, this happens slowly. It happens… over time.
… but it is why. Ultimately, yeah. The reason that I do this stuff. Keep on designing and inviting and connecting and co-creating. True connexion is why. It’s exactly why I make my online projects… and keep making them. I am always the one that will say ‘yes’ and show up. Not everyone does that. But that’s okay. It’s something I value and care about, and that’s enough, for now, for me.