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Wiring Friendships Across Time, Space, and Age: An Evaluation Of Intergenerational Friendships Created Online

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As the gap widens between young and old America, we will find ourselves contending with either generational conflict or reaping the benefits of intergenerational communion. Volunteer program managers who creatively address this looming social challenge will help make the 21st century a more hospitable epoch.

Luckily, tentacles of the Internet reach into every nook and cranny of our society, including schools and nursing homes. E-mail has become an everyday exchange. We can now easily use this electronic web to connect people across time and space, and also across generations . In this fashion, we leap over the traditional hurdles most intergenerational programs face: transporting elders or students and finding mutually-satisfying schedules. This article reports the results of linking two generations over the Internet. By analyzing the data and using common sense interpretations, we can unequivocally conclude that reciprocal volunteering allows both old and young to benefit equally in unique ways.