Readers React

Virtual social groups vs. actual human contact

To the editor: Robert M. Sapolsky's piece is heartfelt and brilliant, explaining a great deal about modern human interaction and the "voluntary dissolution of intact social groups." What he does not touch on, however, is the modern preference for virtual social groups over actual human contact. ("The evolution of encountering, and embracing, strangers," op-ed, June 6)

It may be a generational issue (I recently became an official senior citizen and am now rendered invisible to anyone younger than 30), but bear with me.

I recently asked a delightful 26-year-old man if he entertained groups of friends in his magnificent high-rise bachelor apartment with an unobstructed ocean view. His response floored me: "No, we mostly just text each other."

My mind reeled with visions of the bacchanalian lifestyle that I indulged in at his age. The idea that I would have preferred to spend a Saturday night on my couch texting my pals crosstown on their couches was unthinkable. I must confess that I took plenty of walks on the wild side (thank you, Lou Reed) and was not always a good citizen, but I would not trade my memories for a flickering, buzzing, hand-held personal device if I lived another 1,000 years.

Philip DiGiacomo, Pacific Palisades

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