Friends of a Certain Age: Why Is It Hard to Make Friends over 30? Essay

This article talks about the challenges of making friends and the changing nature of friendship after entering the 30’s. In today’s world people are busy with jobs, education, family, care-taking and spending whatever free time they have working on themselves and their relationship with their partner. In this day and age of technology, communications with friends have changed, giving an individual many different ways to say “Hello”. As a person hits their 30s and 40s they come across many new people through work, socialization and Facebook, but none of them are actual close friends, the kind you make in college.

As individual’s age priorities change and people often become pickier as they develop a sense of self understanding causing them to set their bars higher. However, this realization strikes when they encounter a big life event and recognize the need for true friends. Many individuals get preoccupied with their family and work that they fail to realize that they have no life outside it. Laura Carstensen a psychologist professor noted that people tend to interact with fewer people as they approach midlife , but grow closer to the friends they already have.

The reason behind this is because as people turn 30 their internal clock goes off reminding them of their decreasing lifeline, as they realize this they concentrate more on their present. Some sociologists believe that as individuals get older, it becomes tougher to meet the 3 conditions that are crucial in making friends: Proximity, repeated and unplanned interactions. These three elements provide a setting that encourages people to let their guards off and trust each other, which is why the best of friends are made in college.

As you hit 30’s you enter the professional world, where maintaining “proximity” becomes difficult and the only time you can interact with your friends is either through text, phone call or an occasional drink. People tend to put a guard in front of them and hid their weakness due to competition in workplace. When friends and work intertwine together, it is difficult to predict where friendship begins and networking ends. Another challenge that makes it even more difficult to make friends is being married (having a partner) and having kids.

Not only do you have to worry about two individuals interacting, now there are four individuals who’s personalities have to match with each other. With kids involved suddenly couples are thrown into groups with other parents that they thought they would never hang out with. After going through their share of life experiences most individuals have a completely new view and idea of friendship and each have their own way of meeting new once. Why you chose the article? I chose this article because initially I was intrigued by the idea of why it is a big deal to turn 30 and when life takes a major turn.

Since I am a few year away from hitting that mark and I want to know how peoples life, experience and social aspect govern their idea of friendship and meeting new people. As we advance towards the new era we focused on increasing our friends count on Facebook and increasing our twitter followers that we fail to realize that we would barely even invite more than half of them during our special events in life. Also thanks to Facebook the concept of “defriending” someone has become part of the online culture.

It has become easy to click a button and remove someone from your friends list and never again need to see their annoying status updates. However, defriending someone or making new friends is not as simple as clicking a button in real life. Importance of article to class work. This article is important because it shows how sociology has brought to our understanding of the way friendship is socially patterned. Rather than treating friendship as a tie between two individuals, it examines the social and economic context in which they develop influence their forms. It focuses on the impact that social status has on friendship.

Sociology also talks about how structural changes in the 20th century will affect relationships between friends. You’re thoughts/commentary on the article? I believe this article captures the view of a 30 year old struggling to make a career, a family and new friends. As time passes by more and more individuals are keeping family as an option much later in life which allows them some spare time to make their bonds with friends stronger. As a 27 year old in college I have been successful in making some true lifelong friends whom I intend to stay in touch even after I hit my 30’s.


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