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What price does online generation pay for lack of offline interactions?

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Illustration: Division of Research

While it is important to maintain good grades and study habits, social interactions provide many college students with the opportunity to learn life lessons outside of the classroom. For many students their varying class schedules can make it difficult for regular in-person visits with family and friends. While social media and mobile devices make it easier to stay connected, what happens when those online interactions are not managed appropriately and begin to affect offline, face-to-face relationships? It is important to monitor these interactions because often our offline and online interactions overlap. Therefore, unmindful use of online communication can have negative consequences offline.

The offline social interactions that take place outside the classroom are just what Jeffrey Liew, associate professor of educational psychology and principal investigator, plans to examine. He is working with a team of researchers to develop a prototype smart device system that detects and processes conversations to analyze social and emotional properties in the human voice or speech.