I'm pleased that we can supplement Michael's interesting account
with survey data (see my website for details re the first two papers
1. Wellman, Quan, Witte and Hampton "Does the Internet Increase, Decrease
or Suplement Social Capital?" uses National Geographic web survey data to
show that Internet interpersonal activity is independent of phone and F2F
activity. That is, the Internet supplements other media of interpersonal
communication; neither increasing nor decreasing them. Using more
tentative measures, we find that the Internet appears to increase
organizational activity - the more you're involved with organizations, the
more you're online (and vice-versa). Counter-intuitively (at least to my
naive soul), high Internet use is associated with a lower sense of online
community. Our hunches are flaming and routinization; you're welcome to
send me your's.
2. Hampton and Wellman's Netville paper "Long Distance Community in the
Network Society: Contact and Support Beyond Netville" shows that people
move appreciable distances (50 km, or 30 miles to the traditionalists)
maintain their ties much better when they are on a high-speed network than
if they are on the net.
3. Hampton and Wellman are writing a paper now showing how the Internet
really facilitated local community in Netville. We have an early paper
with a bit of data: "Netville Online and Offline: Observing and Surveying
a Wired Suburb." American Behavioral Scientist 43, 3 (Nov, 1999): 475-92.
This one is on my website too in draft form.
Barry Wellman Professor of Sociology NetLab Director
[log in to unmask] http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman
Centre for Urban & Community Studies University of Toronto
455 Spadina Avenue Toronto Canada M5S 2G8 fax:+1-416-978-7162
On Fri, 27 Jul 2001, Michael Reed wrote:
> Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 13:10:53 -0400
> From: Michael Reed <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Kraut, weak ties, cyber gains and risks
> I, too, read the piece on Robert Kraut in the NYTimes. I've always found
> the isolation argument counter-intuitive, although I can imagine that an
> already introverted, weakly networked (with face to face people) person
> might be drawn more deeply into Internet obsession and suffer consequently.
> I prefer the "rich get richer" argument mentioned in the article: the
> Internet, like any other tool, has the potential for broadening our worlds
> (e.g., toggling back and forth between LOC searches, web-surfing, the latest
> Washington Post article, E-mail exchanges, and my article-in-progress).