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Friendship recession: I’m 29 years old and I can’t stand anyone

An expression that leaves no room for doubt. The narrowing social circle is an inevitable "goal".


At the threshold of 30 years it happens more and more often to wonder if there is a reason behind the friendships that have been cultivated up to that moment. We think more intensely about the place we want to occupy ourselves in the world. If the values that our parents have struggled to transmit to us are sensible. And why politics hasn’t interested us so far. 

We begin to read the newspapers, to look for current news on social media and it may happen that we come across the analysis by the American Perspectives Survey (2021). According to the data collected, from the 1990s to today, the percentage of people who claim not to have close friends in their lives has increased fivefold

The reference sample is the US one, but in the meantime, it seems that the rest of the world has adjusted. The American name of the phenomenon is friendship recession and the trend seems to have already sent many into panic. 

@attn The American Perspectives Survey found that the percentage of people who don’t have any close friends went from 3% in 1990 to 12% in 2021. This so-called “friendship recession” makes the friendships you do have even more important. Friendship coach Danielle Bayard Jackson told Refinery 29 that a low-maintenance or low-effort friendship can become one-sided. So if you start to feel like that, you may want to reevaluate. #friends #learnontiktok #fyi #lowmaintenancefriends ♬ original sound - attn:

Prima, però, di farsi prendere dallo sconforto: come si manifesta?

La friendship recession risponde a una serie di atti che si ripetono.

  • Evitare gli incontri vis à vis 
  • Tagliare i ponti con amicizie storiche a favore di relazioni superficiali
  • Crescita di un forte senso di isolamento 

The reasons why people spend more time on rough - often virtual - relationships instead of historical ties seem to be consequences of the pandemic, the digital revolution, and full remote work.


The Covid led us to spend more time at home, have more time to reflect, having to accept the existence of No Vax and those who, instead, fought for vaccinations without stopping without taking the trouble to read up. The result created the conditions for us to doubt. Everything and everyone. And sometimes it led to cutting the dead branches in one’s circle.  

The digital revolution 

Digitalization is a process that struggles to stop. It has revolutionized our lives. It allowed us to break down the barriers of distance, to communicate with everyone on the other side of the world, to continue studying even during a global emergency. The synthesis is that everyone is seen through a screen, less and less meet live.   

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Un post condiviso da Acrimònia Studios (@acrimoniastudios)

The full remote work

Even working completely remotely tells us that it is not important to dress well, but it is important to dress. Reject underwear with your shirt on. He then tells us that priority time management is an art, and not everyone has it. And then he tells us that we have less and less desire to go out. 


So what? We go out less. And we’re more alone.



Illustration by Gloria Dozio - Acrimònia Studios