New York Times: The Dreaded Return of the ‘Park Hang’

New York Times: The Dreaded Return of the ‘Park Hang’. “‘The whole notion of having to stay away from people again is mind-numbing,’ said Manny Fidel, 29, a video producer who lives in Brooklyn. While he acknowledged the gravity of the current Covid-19 surge in New York City, which has set records for new cases and caused a mad dash for testing, Mr. Fidel also expressed fear that the Omicron variant would reduce social life in New York to its socially distant diminutives: stoop cocktails in puffer coats, long walks with friends to nowhere and a long line of park hangs.”

Now Going Viral: Meeting Online Friends in Real Life (New York Times)

New York Times: Now Going Viral: Meeting Online Friends in Real Life. “Marissa Meizz, 23, was out to dinner with a friend in the East Village in mid-May when her phone started buzzing. She tried to silence it, but the texts kept coming. They all wanted to know: Had she seen the TikTok video? She clicked the link and a young man appeared onscreen. ‘If your name’s Marissa,’ he said, ‘please listen up.’ He said he had just overheard some of her friends say they were deliberately choosing to hold a birthday party when she was out of town that weekend. “You need to know,” he said. ‘TikTok, help me find Marissa.’”

BuzzFeed News: Friendships Are Breaking Up Over Vaccines

BuzzFeed News: Friendships Are Breaking Up Over Vaccines. “BuzzFeed News asked readers to share how they’re dealing with unvaccinated friends. We received hundreds of responses that detailed a range of experiences, from people ending friendships altogether to choosing to uninvite loved ones from weddings and parties. But more than anything, we heard stories of frustration and sadness, revealing how COVID-19 has transformed not just the country, but our social structures, too.”

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

Washington Post: No game days. No bars. The pandemic is forcing some men to realize they need deeper friendships.. “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.”

The Atlantic: The Pandemic Has Remade Friendship

The Atlantic: The Pandemic Has Remade Friendship. “Four months ago, I went on a socially distanced, fully masked outdoor park date with my boyfriend (whom I have seen nearly every day since). I miss the ease of just seeing whomever I want, whenever I want—though I’ve also realized how infrequently I used to see my closest friends. The joy of a restaurant dinner has been overwhelmed by the logistics of safety, the concern of exposure. My friendships still form the center of my emotions, but not my physical life. Now they occupy the spatial margins.”

TechCrunch: Twine aims to end social isolation with its video chat app for deep conversations

TechCrunch: Twine aims to end social isolation with its video chat app for deep conversations. “A new startup called twine wants to help people feel less isolated and alone. Though the project has been in the works for around six months, it’s launching at a time when people are struggling with being cut off from family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and others due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting government lockdowns and self-quarantines. Described simply as a ‘Zoom for meeting new people,’ twine is a group video chat experience where people are encouraged to have meaningful discussions that spark new friendships.”

PopSugar: These 8 Friend-Finding Apps Will Help You Make New Connections in Real Life

PopSugar: These 8 Friend-Finding Apps Will Help You Make New Connections in Real Life. WARNING: Slideshow ahoy. “If you want to make real-life connections with new people but aren’t sure where to start, these eight friendship apps can help. Whether it’s finding people who are passionate about the same hobbies you are or just getting to know your neighbors, these apps let you take that initial first step so that bonding in real life is less stressful. Keep reading to learn more about these great friendship apps, and get ready to expand your social circle with people who just . . . get you.”

EurekAlert: Facebook can help college students with lower confidence build relationships

EurekAlert: Facebook can help college students with lower confidence build relationships. “Facebook can help first-semester college students maintain relationships with high school friends and assist them in creating new friendships, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York. When it comes to making new friends, those with higher confidence in their social skills have less to gain from relying on Facebook, while people with lower confidence in their social skills have more to gain from a reliance on the social media platform.”

Bustle: Using Social Media To Cope With Stress Can Negatively Impact Your IRL Friendships, A New Study Says

Bustle: Using Social Media To Cope With Stress Can Negatively Impact Your IRL Friendships, A New Study Says. “You know the feeling: work is stressful, and so is planning that weekend trip, and remembering to pick up the laundry, and, let’s be honest, friends and relationships can be stressful, too. So you scroll through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram on a loop, on and on. (Maybe Tumblr is just me.) And while scrolling through social media might feel comforting in the moment, a new study suggests that the more stressed people are, the more they use social media in negative ways.”

New York Times: How to Grieve for Online Friends You Had Never Met in Person

New York Times: How to Grieve for Online Friends You Had Never Met in Person. “More than ever before, we are using our smartphones and technology to form meaningful relationships with virtual strangers, both in romance and friendship; we celebrate one another’s successes, share our individual struggles, and despite geographical limitations, these bonds often span years. But what happens when the person on the other side of the screen dies?”