For more than two millennia, friendship has been lauded as a key to personal fulfillment.
Many of the most memorable works of western literature celebrate friendship. Achilles and Patroclus, David and Jonathan, and Damon and Pythias are only a few of the famous literary depictions of intimate friendship.
Many today fear that a hyper-individualistic, highly mobile society has undermined the capacity for sustained intimacy. Social media, from this point of view, has made friendship more superficial. And it is certainly the case that a certain kind of lifelong personal bond, involving face-to-face connection over decades, has become less common, a casualty of the geographical dispersion that characterizes American life.