On “What Is It About 20-Somethings” – Pre-writing 2

In this pre-writing activity, we’ll begin to make connections between what Henig (and Arnett) says about emerging adults and what Konnikova says about the limits of friendship.

Respond in lengthy paragraphs to each of the following prompts. Use what you’ve learned so far about summarizing, quoting, and responding to integrate your ideas with those of Henig and Konnikova.

To help you better structure your responses, use Barclay’s Formula for working with two or more sources.

  • Is there a generational component to the ability to connect in a digital age? By generational component, I mean differences between generations who reached adulthood before the emergence of always-on portable internet and those who reached after? How might emerging adults challenge the conventional understanding of the Dunbar number? Synthesize what you learned reading Henig and Konnikova to create your own answer to these questions.
  • Considering what Henig says in paragraphs 3, 7, and 8 about the real-world living conditions and psychological drives of emerging adults and what Konnikova says about the utility of “weak ties” in paragraph 6 of her article, how might friendships maintained through social media actually fulfill important needs for emerging adults? Be sure to summarize the relevant ideas from each writer before building on their work.


  1. Incorporate at least one quote from Henig and one quote from Konnikova in each response
  2. Use the Barclay’s Formula structure
  3. Incorporate at least one “Okay, But” moment in one of your paragraphs