Digital natives risk losing empathy for real people

Time spent online has high opportunity costs, especially at the expense of face-to-face interaction, according to Prof Sherry Turkle.

The main takeaway from Prof Turkle’s study is that digital culture, despite its many virtues, has major downsides, the most serious of which relate to its dehumanising tendencies. Bluntly put, our close embrace of, and increasing reliance on, electronic technology has impaired our ability to relate to one another, particularly in face-to-face conversational settings.

Because such conversations are vital to our moral development -without them, humans have trouble establishing bonds of empathy with other people – life online is impoverishing our lives offline. How?