Technology Can Make Your Relationships Shallower

“How to Build a Lifeis a weekly column by Arthur Brooks, tackling questions of meaning and happiness. Click here to listen to his podcast series on all things happiness, How to Build a Happy Life.

In 1995, decades before she began assisting with research on this column, Rena Rudavsky and her family were selected to participate in a novel psychology experiment: Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University would install a computer in their dining room and connect it to the internet. At the time, only 9 percent of Americans used the internet (in 2020, nearly 91 percent did).