Why won't a college student today make sacrifices for true friends like they would have 25 years ago?In other words, why was it so much easier for people back then to take a bullet for a "true...

Why won't a college student today make sacrifices for true friends like they would have 25 years ago?

In other words, why was it so much easier for people back then to take a bullet for a "true friend", than it is today?

Asked on by abesville

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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If the premise of this question is true, it is because of a decline in what scholars like Robert Putnam call "social capital."  People no longer care about one another as much as they once did because they are no longer connected to one another in so many ways.

Beginning in 1995, Putnam asserted the idea that Americans were becoming less social outside their own family.  In articles, and eventually in the book Bowling Alone, Putnam argued that Americans do not do things as groups any more.  They do not join clubs as much.  They do not invite friends over for dinner.  They do not (and this is where the title comes from) join bowling leagues as they once did.  Putnam argues that, because of this, people no longer feel as connected to one another and do not care about one another as much as they once did.

If it is true that college students won't sacrifice for their friends now, it is for this reason.  They may have become so individualistic because they spend all their time playing video games or watching TV or surfing the internet rather than interacting with friends as they once would have.  As they stop interacting with others, they come to care less about them and are less willing to sacrifice for them.

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