The Internet: The Effect Of Internet On Social Capital

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The effect of internet on social capital
Messaging and social networking is the most used internet function, which allows one to communicate not only with their family, friends or colleagues, but also with anonymous people. The internet can supplement face-to-face or telephone contacts. But the Internet may isolate individuals and reduce the time spent participating in social activities, especially if Internet users are mainly engaged in solitary activities (web-surfing, news reading, etc.). For example, Attewell, Suazo-Garcia and Battle (2003) showed that adolescents with a home computer spend less time practicing sports or playing outside. Moreover, face-to face interactions are typically richer than virtual interactions by e-mail, chat or instant messaging.

Social capital refers to the individual’s collection of social ties that provides access to resources, information or assistance and from which one can derive market and non-market benefits (better social status, better educational and professional achievement)
Whether the internet use increases or decreases sociability has important consequences for the building and maintenance of social capital.
This issue is critical because if online and traditional investments are complementary, then Internet users could accumulate more social capital
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