How “Social” Are Social Networking Sites? A Longitudinal Study of Social Capital Formation Offline and Online Among Facebook Users

Thursday, September 30, 2010 - 1:00pm - 2:00pm EDT

  • Location:Dibner Building, LC 401
    Five MetroTech Center, Brooklyn, NY

Speaker

Petter Bae Brandtzæg

Authors

Petter Bae Brandtzæg and Oded Nov

Abstract

How do social networking sites (SNS) affect social capital offline and online? The increasing popularity of SNS such as Facebook implies a significant change to our social interaction. Thus, it is frequently questioned how “social” SNSs really are. In this longitudinal study we examine the relationship between the use of Facebook and interpersonal interaction, as well as the relationship between Facebook use and users’ online and offline social networks. The findings of a three year (2008-2009-2010) study of online users in Norway suggest that (a) SNS use is negatively associated with face-to-face interaction with close friends; (b) a positive correlation exists between the use of SNS and bridging capital, both offline and online, and (c) SNS use is positively related to face-to-face family interaction, but less and less so. Results and design implications are discussed.