Cell phones may connect us with each other, but researchers suggest they also may disconnect us, too. Researchers at the University of Maryland examined the behaviors of college students in their 20s. After using their cell phones, subjects were less likely to show a lot of sympathy for others and were less likely to participate in what scientists call prosocial behavior—activities that actually improve relationships with others. The researchers believe the unrivaled ability that cell phones have to connect with others paradoxically may be at fault. “People talk about being overextended, having too many dinner dates, coffee dates, meetings. They feel depleted,” says Adam Waytz, the study’s lead author. “We think this plays into our findings. Even though you are extremely socially connected, at some point, it comes at the expense of the ability to consider the full humanity of those around you.” (Time)

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Paul Asay has written for Time, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. He writes about culture for Plugged In and has published several books, including his newest, Burning Bush 2.0 (Abingdon), available now. He lives in Colorado Springs. Check out his entertainment blog at Patheos.com/Blogs/WatchingGod or follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.