Why Online Interactions May Be Addictive

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    Apr 27, 2014 5:24 PM GMT
    NYT: Many of us assume, however, that our well-being depends on our closest ties, and not on the minor characters in our daily lives. Even fleeting glances can make a difference. Many of us have had the experience of what the Germans call “wie Luft behandeln” (“to be looked at as though air”). The social norm of avoiding eye contact seems harmless, but it might not be.

    Simply acknowledging strangers may alleviate one's existential angst; and being acknowledged by others might do the same for us. (One caveat: Another set of studies has shown that people are motivated to flee from strangers who stare at them intently.)

    The benefits of connecting with others also turn out to be contagious. It was found that when one person took the initiative to speak to another in a waiting room, both people reported having a more positive experience. Far from annoying people by violating their personal bubbles, reaching out to strangers may improve their day, too.

    Rather than fall back on our erroneous belief in the pleasures of solitude, we could reach out to other people. At least, when we walk down the street, we can refuse to accept a world where people look at one another as though through air. When we talk to strangers, we stand to gain much more than the “me time” we might lose.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/26/opinion/sunday/hello-stranger.html?hp&rref=opinion&_r=0
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    Apr 27, 2014 10:30 PM GMT
    tumblr_static_sherlock.gif
    hmmmmmm....
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    Apr 28, 2014 1:17 AM GMT
    It's long been known that folks are losing the ability to interact with level of complexity and friendliness. You make an important point that we don't live in a world of 160 characters. Folks are losing social skills.

    Studies have shown that folks who interact in social networking have a higher level of mental health than those who don't interact with anyone at all, but, it's still not good as living in The Real World.