Steven Covey in "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" calls for "empathic listening" in his chapter on "First Seek to Understand, before being Understood".
Peter Guber (Author of "Tell to Win, Connect, Persuade & Triumph, with the hidden power of story", & Producer of Rainman, Batman, & Gorillas in the Mist) http://www.peterguber.com/telltowin/home in his interview with Tony Robbins (Peak Performance Speaker) http://business.tonyrobbins.com/176/peter-guber-. talks about "everyone having a story".
Everyone's story needs a voice, but also someone to hear it. It wouldn't be hard to find an article on the reasons Social Media is so popular - it's a way for people to share their story. People want to be heard.