In an age of perpetual digital connectedness, why do people seem so disconnected? In a Duke University study, researchers found that from 1985 to 2004, the percentage of people who said there was no one with whom they discussed important matters tripled, to 25%; the same study found that overall, Americans had one-third fewer friends and confidants than they did two decades ago.
Another recent study, by researchers at the University of Michigan, found that college students today have significantly less empathy — the ability to understand and share the feelings of another — than students of generations past did. The reason, psychologists speculate, may have something to do with our increasing reliance on digital communication and other forms of new media.
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