The Media Lab Europe Human Connectedness research group has exactly the right manifesto: "Humans have a fundamental need for contact with other humans. Our interactions and relationships with other people form a network that supports us, makes our lives meaningful, and ultimately enables us to survive. A variety of personal factors, such the need to travel or live in a different place apart from family and friends, threaten our ability to form and attain balance in the kinds of relationships that we want and need to have with others. The impact of customs and trends that exist at a societal level, such as the widespread use of certain technologies that may have isolating effects, is a subject of increasing study. These conditions put our mental and physical well-being at risk and, in turn, jeopardize the health of our communities and civilizations as a whole.
"The Human Connectedness research group explores the topic of human relationships and how they are mediated by technology. Our mission is to conceive a new genre of technologies and experiences that combat the effects mentioned above and allow us to build, maintain, and enhance relationships in new ways."
Their list of projects is no less impressive.