So in the raddle chat, we were discussing friend groups and this study showing that people have fewer and fewer friends. Indeed, the study seemed to track "confidantes" and it looks as though non-kin confidantes are disappearing.
My theory on why this is occurring is this:
I imagine it has a lot to do with how we are being conditioned to be consumers. And not just of disposable goods but of digital goods. Those digital goods also are not necessarily purchasable goods but things like page views and clicks.
The people developing those goods need to develop mechanisms to keep us looking and clicking. That's where the addiction centers of our brains are preyed upon. To the point where it becomes more pleasurable to scroll on your phone over and over again than it is to have a conversation with another human being where you have to pay attention to what you say and how you say it. By the way, it's been studied: scrolling the facebook feed provides sensations similar to drug use.
The reward centers of your brain light up when someone likes something you shared. whereas, being there for a friend who is having a hard day provides absolutely no reward to your brain.
The machine plugs you in and then rewards you for staying plugged in.