Part Three: Four Ways Technology Strengthens Human Connection
February 21, 2020

Part Three: Four Ways Technology Strengthens Human Connection

So far, we’ve unpacked a few ways technology can connect us. In part three, let’s delve into something that many ignore: how technology can build empathy.

Expand empathy. Understand the experiences of others.

Empathy is the root of human connectivity. It helps us overcome distrust and build a sense of understanding and connection with others. It creates a bond with those from whom we differ which is critical in a deeply-polarized world. In the real world, we tend to stick to what we know, among those that are most like us. But, online, we’re exposed to other points-of-views, ways of life and beliefs. This is a powerful tool…especially when it comes from friends and those we admire.

Plus, online empathy is shown to build offline empathy. Contrary to popular belief, the internet isn’t robbing us of our humanity. Oftentimes, it’s actually enhancing it. This is perhaps most notable in the heightened sense of acceptance found in people ages 18 to 34. According to a study conducted by The University of Chicago’s NORC research institute, the increased exposure to various viewpoints and lifestyles has led to a generation of young people that are much less judgmental than their parents. They’re much more accepting of others because they “live” in a diverse virtual world.

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Part Four: Four Ways Technology Strengthens Human Connection

Gaming has been shown to build stronger connections. Now, we’re not giving you an excuse to lock yourself in a dark room for days on end, ignoring the world. But, the Pew Research Center found gaming an integral part of connectivity for teens, especially boys. For online teen gamers, 78% say gaming makes them feel more connected to friends they already have. That number represents 42% of teens between ages 13 and 17. Over half say they feel more connected to gamers who aren’t their offline friends. For 38% of boys who game, their handle is among the first three pieces of information they share with someone they’re hoping to befriend. That’s significant.

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