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A new study suggests social media may increase empathy.

A new study by Harris Interactive reveals that a growing number of teenagers feel social media websites are expanding their awareness for ways in which other people could use some help.

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"More than half of teens (55 percent) say social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have made them more aware of the needs of others," a press release from PR Newswire states. "This is a huge increase from 2011 when a little more 4 in 10 (44 percent) said their use of social media made them more aware."

The new study was commissioned by the advocacy group 30 Hour Famine, which since 1992 has raised more than $150 million to fight world hunger. On Feb. 24-25 and April 27-28, 30 Hour Famine will sponsor events wherein an estimated 200,000 teens will fast for 30 hours and donate to charity the financial savings from skipping meals.

— Jamshid Ghazi Askar