Social capital is built through the hundreds of little actions we take every day.
Every encounter builds trust just a little bit more,
contributes to our reserve of personal bonds, enables fellowship, enhances
reciprocity, stimulates community, nurtures our connectedness and increases our
supply of social opportunities.
Of course, that’s face to face.
What happens when digital enters the equation?
A few years back, the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication
conducted a study that examined if Facebook was related to attitudes and
behaviors that enhance social capital. And although their research
showed that online social networks were not the most effective solution for
social disengagement, they still found small positive relationships
between intensity of social media use and life satisfaction, social trust,
civic engagement, and political participation.
Considering social capital affects everything from
productivity to depression to suicide to juvenile delinquency to test scores to
government response time to divorce rate, I’d say we’re off to a pretty good
It might be digital, but it’s better than nothing.