Why Joe Rogan is a bad friend
With all the talk about misinformation and fake news it's surprising to see that trust in the media hasn't disappeared, it's just shifted to new platforms. Based on numbers alone, a lot of people still trust traditional news outlets, but a lot more of them seem to trust Joe Rogan.
When I asked you on Twitter, a lot of you had interesting ideas about why Rogan’s primarily male audience finds something so right about a guy who gets so much, so wrong.
One answer that stuck with me came from a DM from The Verge Editor-In-Chief, Nilay Patel. While it’s true that Rogan’s audience is primarily male, he rightfully corrected me by reminding me that even if 71% of the Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) audience is male, 29% of millions of female listeners is still a lot of women. He referenced an idea he’d been talking about with his colleagues Liz Lopatto and Sarah Jeong that “people are generally lonely and this dude will spend five hours performing male friendship at you.”
The way Nilay phrased it was arresting because it wasn’t dissimilar from the way men had talked to me about male friendship when I interviewed them for my book. I was told over and over again that male friendship wasn’t really about sharing, it was just “men taking turns talking.” The data supported my research. Men tend to have more surface shoulder-to-shoulder relationships while women tend to have more intimate face-to-face friendships. This means that men are more likely to “do friendship” while they’re doing something else. It explains why you don’t see a lot of men going to brunch together, but they do tend to appear in squash courts everywhere.
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