A conversation with my neighbor about bugs (more on that later) got me thinking about intergenerational friendships.
Driving the news: For a long time I was without many friends outside of my own age group.
- With no religious or family ties to Utah, my social vectors mostly pointed to other Xennials.
- Then COVID cut me off from my older and younger work friends.
Why is this important: Many of us yearn for more intergenerational bonds, according to a report this year by the non-profit organization Encore.
- Psychologists say these friendships are important for both young and old.
- In 2019, an AARP investigation found that cross-generational friendships were particularly likely to be long-lasting and to involve frequent face-to-face contact.
By the numbers: According to the Encore study, Gen Z and Gen X were the most eager to bond with other generations.
- Nearly 90% of Hispanic and Black respondents hoped to work for social progress with people at least 25 years their senior.
The good news (for me): COVID actually strengthened friendships within my neighborhood because it was easy to visit outdoors.
So about these bugs: Yesterday I, 43, was walking with my 74-year-old neighbor Gwynne when we started listing the bugs we’ve seen this week.
- Gwynne is a backyard naturalist, and I’m a gardener, so it’s really not weird.
- But as he described a wasp attacking a katydid, and I shared details of my last encounter with a grasshopper, I realized we probably looked like a couple of 8-year-olds.
The bottom line: You’re never too old or too young to have a bug best friend.
- And insect friends are never too old or too young either.