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“Technology can be a problem when it lets you avoid taking responsibility for your actions -- such as ‘ghosting’ someone instead of breaking up with them in person -- but it also gives us many different ways to build and maintain relationships, join communities, and express what we need from each other.” Some research says instead of isolating people, technology is actually helping strengthen relationships.

“Our findings are very clear and consistent, that users of social networks tend to have close relationships, not just online, but in real life,” says Keith Hampton, Ph D, an associate professor of communication and public policy communication at Rutgers University.

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Hampton would like to dispel the notion that the people who use technology the most are hiding in their apartments to avoid personal contact.“In analog days, you were limited to whoever was around you and which organizations were nearby, but now you can access a community based on beliefs, interests, and shared goals.” Perhaps the most interesting findings are among teenagers.They’re the first generation to grow up not knowing life without social media.They had more friends who were willing and able to offer advice, companionship, and physical help.Hampton adds digital technology provides a platform to ask for that help quickly.

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