When a camper's dad unexpectedly died last month, Andy Braner didn't send him a condolence email or Facebook message. He got on a plane and flew from Colorado to Texas to be with the grieving teen. For Braner, social media is a means to an end, not a primary tool for building relationships. But it has been misused, and teens are in trouble.
"If you ask a teenager who's really gonna be there with you, they struggle to name people that they call on when life gets really hard," he says. Braner's new book, Alone, highlights what he views as the biggest cause of loneliness: Facebook, Twitter, and sites that that aim to bring us together. If you ask Braner, social networks are really keep us apart.