The average American teenager spends well over 8 hours a day in front of a screen, whether smartphone, PC, TV or tablet. One study reported increasing physical isolation among Internet users; it created a controversy and drew angry complaints from some users who insisted that time they spent online did not detract from their social relationships. However, the researchers said they had now gathered further evidence showing that Internet use has lowered the amount of time people spend socializing with friends and even sleeping. According to the study, an hour of time spent using the Internet reduces face-to-face contact with friends, co-workers and family by 23.5 minutes, lowers the amount of time spent watching television by 10 minutes and shortens sleep by 8.5 minutes. What’s your perspective on this issue—does increasing use of the Internet have positive or negative implications for interpersonal relationships in our society?
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