We all seem more interconnected than ever with the advent of cellphones, blogging, and social networks like myspace. However, a major study from the American Sociological Review announced that Americans are having trouble finding true connections. (Further coverage from the Boston Globe and the Washington Post.)
Some interesting points:
Although many internet users state that technology has created more powerful social connections (see The Strength of Internet Ties), our immediate personal relationships have dwindled. Can virtual communities take the place of real communities that are becoming less relevant from suburban sprawl and the loss of true third places?
These conclusions may seem a bit dire. After all, perhaps our method of interaction and socializing is simply changing from the "good old days" of decades past. It seems that we are deciding to do things on masse. Third places such as megachurches and malls have replaced small community networks. Upwards of six million people participate in World of Warcraft. We all know a lot more people. But how many of them really matter?