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Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:50 AM

No game days. No bars. The pandemic is forcing some men to realize they need deeper friendships.

Washington Post

It took a global pandemic and a badly timed breakup for Manny Argueta to realize just how far he had grown apart from his guy friends.

In the spring, after the 35-year-old had left the home he shared with his former girlfriend and moved into a studio in Falls Church, Va., on his own, he would go an entire week without saying a word. There were no more game days with the guys, no more Friday nights in D.C. bars, and Argueta was starved for social interaction. He returned to his PlayStation 4, jumping on the microphone with a stranger while playing “Overwatch” just to hear someone’s voice. He discovered the messaging app Discord and started chatting with his old gamer friends and watching them play “Mortal Kombat 11” — even when he didn’t have the game set up himself.

He started recognizing how dependent his friendships had become on those Sunday football games and nights at 14th Street lounges, on venting about Republicans or why the Caps fell short in the playoffs. They hardly ever talked about relationships or family, or just generally how they were doing. He had never met many of their family members.

On a rare night he spent catching up with an old friend in October, a mixture of vulnerability and intoxication led him to pour out his frustrations. “I bet you still have no idea why her and I broke up,” he said to his friend. “I bet you have no idea.” The friend paused, apologized and let him talk for a while about what had happened.

For more than a decade, psychologists have written about the “friendship crisis” facing many men. One 2006 analysis published in the American Sociological Review found that while Americans in general have fewer friends outside the family than they used to, young, White, educated men have lost more friends than other groups.

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Reply No game days. No bars. The pandemic is forcing some men to realize they need deeper friendships. (Original post)
brooklynite Dec 2020 OP
Rorey Dec 2020 #1
Baitball Blogger Dec 2020 #2
lostnfound Dec 2020 #3
lostnfound Dec 2020 #4

Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 11:03 AM

1. This pandemic has forced a lot of people to slow down

It's given a lot of people (women too) time to think, whereas I think a lot of people have hidden from their thoughts. Thinking can be painful, but I still think it's a good thing.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 11:05 AM

2. The only ones who have it made in the shade are the video gamers.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 11:25 AM

3. society has been designed to discourage friendships especially among men

Camaraderie among men except within carefully constructed situations (sports, military) is a threat to power structures.

The book “The Underground History of American Education” by John Taylor Gatto describes “the Gary plan” for schools — short classes rotated from teacher to teacher — as something that industrialists wanted to produce standardized workers. Be quiet, look to authority for answers and approval, don’t share your work except when told to do so.

Larger and larger schools make people feel anonymous and unimportant.

The history channel had a program about Carnegie steel, which showed the police stopping a strike, and one angry worker coming in to shoot the man in charge (Frick?). The power of unions and the threat of mobs were causes for concern among the richest.

Advertising is geared toward motivating people to buy stuff for themselves and their families.

There’s a lot more social engineering that happens than we think.

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