Contrary to popular belief, technology is not leading to social isolation, AFP reports — and Americans who use the internet and mobile phones have larger and more diverse social networks, according to a new study. "All the evidence points in one direction," said Keith Hampton, lead author of the report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, released Nov. 4. "People’s social worlds are enhanced by new communication technologies. It is a mistake to believe that internet use and mobile phones plunge people into a spiral of isolation." The study examined people’s discussion networks (those with whom they discuss important matters) and core networks (their closest and most significant confidants). It found that, on average, the size of people’s discussion networks is 12 percent larger among mobile phone users, nine percent larger for those who share photos online, and nine percent bigger for those who use instant messaging. The diversity of people’s core networks tends to be 25 percent larger for mobile phone users, 15 percent larger for basic internet users, and even larger for frequent internet users, those who use instant messaging, and those who share digital photos online…

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