Written by Danna Staaf.
You know how Jesus said to love thy neighbor and Buddha urged compassion for all beings? Well, modern science agrees. Stanford psychologists recently found that cultivating compassion not only makes you kinder, it makes you happier—as well as less worried.
But compassion is having a tough time in the age of the internet. We’re more connected than ever, but also more distracted. We answer e-mail while talking on the phone, text one friend while having dinner with another. Such multitasking erodes awareness, a key component of compassion.
Distraction isn’t the worst of it. Internet trolls fill the web with flame wars, offensive YouTube comments and bullying. For the most part, trolls aren’t psychopaths, just ordinary people who act like jerks online. Psychologist John Suler described the phenomenon in 2007, attributing it to a combination of factors such as physical invisibility and anonymity.
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