New Year’s Resolutions: Friends, Family, and Facebook

In an about.com survey of Pittsburgh, the number 1 New Year’s Resolution was to spend more time with family and friends.

In today’s world, where travel is easily accessible and relatively safe, families are living farther apart, leaving family and friends to wonder how they will maintain their relationships and if doing so is advantageous. Technology, like twitter, texting, cell phones, webcams, and social networking sites, like Facebook, have allowed families and friends living far apart to reconnect like never before.

Social Capital refers to the resources, actual or virtual, that are accumulated through relationships. Those relationships can be people, institutions, or are virtual.

Ellison, Steinfield, and Lampe (2007) conducted research on maintaining relationships with family and friends using Facebook. They found that Facebook plays an important role in maintaining social capital.

In other words, if you happen to be far from family and friends, you may find comfort in knowing that those relationships may still have positive social influences on you.

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