Various studies have reported that computer-mediated communication (CMC) increases, decreases and has no effect on social capital. These conflicting outcomes of CMC on social ties resulted in a rich debate. However, the core question remains unanswered - how does usage of CMC disrupt relationships and make individuals isolated but at the same time function as a channel for creating new and enduring social ties within and across the populations? We measure CMC usage for learning activities, leisure and socializing communications, and entertainment purpose. We find that those who use CMC more for entertainment have less developed social networks irrespective of the contexts we studied. Those who use CMC for leisure and socializing communication have well developed broader social networks and close friendships networks but less developed work networks. Finally, those who use CMC more for learning activities are more central in work networks but less central in broader social networks and close friendship networks.
Qureshi, Israr; Haggerty, Nicole; Lee, Seung-Hwan (Mark); and Konrad, Alison, "DISAGGREGATED EFFECTS OF COMPUTER MEDIATED COMMUNICATION USAGE PATTERNS ON SOCIAL NETWORKS" (2007). DIGIT 2007 Proceedings. 2.