We spend an inordinate amount of our waking time daydreaming -- half of our waking thought, according to some estimates -- and much of this drifting is social in nature. Is it possible that imagining others shapes our momentary feelings and affects our overall well-being -- much like real events? That's the idea that Giulia Poerio and her colleagues have been investigating.
Certainly any form of "virtual" interaction can lead to more isolation not less -- more social fabric fraying, not less; more broken community ties, not less -- but not all the time. Many times, virtual interaction can lead to the exact opposite: less isolation, more social fabric, more community ties.