Henry A. Brechter, Opinion contributor Published 6:00 a.m. ET April 7, 2020 | Updated 11:23 a.m. ET April 7, 2020CLOSE Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and Ann Druyan, creator of National Geographic’s “Cosmos” series, discuss the importance of science in age of COVID-19. USA TODAYTech and human intuition are combining to make online relationship-building more intimate and effective — at a time when we have never needed it more.As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to upend American life, social lives are vanishing. Coffee shop dates have been traded for quarantines, face-to-face meetings exchanged for physical distance. Real conversations and opportunities for social connection outside of the immediate family are scarce. Connecting online seems like the logical solution, but has often been an ineffective alternative. Internet communication can easily be dominated by division and tribalism, and as a pandemic and a divisive election year converge, many fear division will only worsen. In response, a wave of new technology and tools is rising. The goal? Not just to improve the way people talk online, but enable them to build new relationships and understand each other better.Living Room Conversations offers “conversation guides” for having respectful meetings, either in-person or virtually, between people from different backgrounds


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