the effect of Facebook depends on what you bring to it. Just as your mother said: you get out only what you put in. If you use Facebook to communicate directly with other individuals—by using the “like” button, commenting on friends’ posts, and so on—it can increase your social capital…
On the other hand, non-personalized use of Facebook—scanning your friends’ status updates and updating the world on your own activities via your wall, or what Burke calls “passive consumption” and “broadcasting”—correlates to feelings of disconnectedness.
Thoughtful but provocative article by author, Stephen Marche. I’m sure the SMEGs and social media marketeers will hate it, because the veneer of engagement online that most of them promote doesn’t do anything to increase social capital.
Also worth reading, for context, this review of, The Disconnect: Why are so many Americans living by themselves?