Is it possible to have a fulfilling life based entirely online?

Is it possible to have a fulfilling life based entirely online?

Millions of people use Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to converse with friends. We use Skype to bridge long distances, Whatsapp to make plans, and Twitter to interact with public figures. But as more of our lives move online, are internet-based interactions sufficient for a fulfilling life?

There have been considerable warnings about the drawbacks of online interactions. Sherry Turkle, professor in Science, Technology and Society at MIT, wrote in the New York Times that our devotion to the screen is detracting from face-to-face conversations, reducing empathy, and damaging substantive friendships.

One study, led by child psychologist Yalda Uhls, showed that children who spent time with television and computers were significantly worse at recognizing nonverbal emotional cues than those who had just five days without screens.

But there is another side to the argument: A 2015 Pew Foundation report found that teenagers use online interactions to strengthen their friendships. Plus, 57% of teenagers reported that they’d made friends online.

Amori Mikami, psychology professor at the University of British Columbia, has conducted several studies on online interactions and tells Quartz that the nature on online communication is changing as young people embrace social networks in an entirely different way.

Read More: Quartz
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