It’s well known that Americans have a heavy distrust of politicians and the media, but what about each other?
Trust is the glue that holds society together and as the years go on mistrust between neighbors, friends, and average citizens in the U.S. is growing. Fewer Americans have close friends to turn to or a community that they feel a sense of belonging in. The pandemic shook up social cohesion even more and drove people to find their tribe online. Some joined market-moving Reddit groups, mutual aid collectives, or even militia movements.
In the past, the group you belonged to was prescribed based on religion, family origins, or social class. Now we have the ability to choose the groups we belong to at a time when the ways in which we relate to each other are rapidly in flux. As the years go on we will all be tasked with looking outward and inward to determine who we will become in these communities of our own making.
Percentage who say they have a great deal/fair amount of trust in other Americans declined from 83% in 1976 to 55% in 2021. [Gallup]
Percentage who have one person they consider to be their best friend declined from 75% in 1990 to 59% in 2021. [Survey Center on American Life]
15% of men and 10% of women report that they have no close friendships outside of the family. [Survey Center on American Life]
34% of total U.S. citizens say there is no community where they feel a strong sense of belonging. [More in Common]
If COVID has taught me anything, it’s that community matters more than government.
Black Ashley, @ashleysimpo
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