Does Online Technology Make Us More or Less Sociable? A Preliminary Review and Call for Research

Adam Waytz, Kurt Gray
2018 Perspectives on Psychological Science  
How does online technology impact sociability? Emerging evidence-much of it inconclusivesuggests a nuanced relationship between online technology (the internet, social media, and virtual reality) and sociability (emotion recognition, empathy, perspective-taking, and emotional intelligence). While online technology can facilitate purely positive (e.g., charitable giving) or negative behavior (e.g., cyberbullying), it appears to impact sociability in three ways, depending on whether it allows a
more » ... eper understanding of people's thoughts and feelings: (1) It benefits sociability when it complements already-deep offline engagement with others. (2) It impairs sociability when it supplants deeper offline engagement for superficial online engagement. (3) It enhances sociability when deep offline engagement is otherwise difficult to attain. We suggest potential implications and moderators of technology's effects on sociability, and call for additional causal research.
doi:10.1177/1745691617746509 pmid:29758166 fatcat:hz46re5yh5cajgdi45xoy2y53u