- Friendship-First Living: New books advocate for centring one’s life and routine around friends. In her January 2023-published book Hanging Out: The Radical Power of Killing Time, American professor Sheila Liming argues that society has lost the art of free-form social gatherings, where friends convene simply to talk. According to Liming, this loss decreases relationship quality and increases loneliness.
“Many adults do away with the unhurried hangouts and imaginative play that make youthful friendships so vibrant,” writes US author Rhaina Cohen, echoing Liming’s sentiment. “Though friendships naturally evolve as we grow up, they don’t need to lose that vitality.” Cohen outlines this approach in her forthcoming book The Other Significant Others, which profiles people who’ve prioritised platonic relationships.
- A Friendly Home: Globally, 55% of 13- to 39-year-olds believe friendships are more important than romantic partnerships (Ypulse, 2022). These consumers are the key audience for Live Near Friends, an August 2023-launched American home search platform that alerts users to places for sale or rent within a five-minute walk of their mates. The radius was chosen for its ability to stimulate impromptu drop-ins.
- How Brands Can Action this Insight: With 85% of people worldwide saying that they don’t have enough time to connect deeply with people (JWT, 2023), there’s substantial opportunity for brands to help consumers carve out space for investing in friendships. This isn’t limited to a specific industry: consider an app that blocks notifications when spending time with pals, or restaurants that offer reservations explicitly for extra-long hangouts.
For more, see Cohesive Communities: Consumers Combat Loneliness.