Recently, The Los Angeles Times reported on cell phone use in Korea and revealed remarkable information about where our digital culture may be heading. They discovered Korean teenagers make up to 90 cell phone calls a day, and social scientists are now beginning to correlate high cell use with rising rates of depression. For some time, I’ve noticed that many young people value their digital life as much (if not more) than their real life. A friend of my daughter sent 3,500 text messages in a single month, (that’s more than 116 per day, and not unusual for today’s teens).
Add that to another recent study released by the Knight Ridder news service that Americans are reporting fewer and fewer close friends. In 1985, pollsters noted that the average person reported having three close friends, but today, it’s only two. And the number who say they have no one to discuss important matters with has doubled to one in four. The social implications are significant, from no friends to visit people in the hospital, weakened bonds during crisis, fewer watchdogs to deter neighborhood crime, and a lack of community.
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About the Author
Phil Cooke is a television producer and media consultant at Cooke Pictures in Burbank, California. His new book is ‘Jolt! Get the Jump on a World That’s Constantly Changing.‘. Find out more at philcooke.com.