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.

"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