The internet and mobile phone together have changed our notions of friendship, family relationships, work connections, and personal ties. Whereas in the past we might have had regular, close interaction with immediate family, friends, and coworkers and weaker ties with a larger social circle we saw infrequently, we now might interact frequently with our weak-tie friends, perhaps less than with our closer connections, but perhaps more. Indeed, many people today seem to have fewer in-person relationships and more weak-tie virtual relationships.

The result for many people is greater feelings of loneliness and, for a tragic few, an increase ...

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