Is technology killing social capital?


I have found myself recently chatting with several people who seem to be making the argument that social networks, text/instant messaging, and the internet in general are diminishing the relationships between people. To be fair, the people making the argument are generally Gen X or older and are people who pride themselves in networking the old-fashioned way, face to face and eyeball to eyeball. So, they could just be resisting change or maybe they are on to something.

While I think it’s very short-sighted to suggest that technology is ruining relationships, I do think it’s an interesting topic to consider how it is changing the relationships and connectedness between people. So, I’d like to propose that we discuss this issue in our next several posts. Here are some of the questions that I’m interested in discussing:

  • How has the advent of social networks, email, and texting changed the way we connect and interact with others?
  • What are the differences between being connected and having a relationship?
  • How is technology impacting the way children and young adults are connecting to one another and what is the long term impact of that?
  • How does the difference between connection and relationship play into the creation of social capital?
Clearly, a major shift is underway in how we interact with one another. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on exactly what’s going on and how we can both make sense of it and embrace it.

1 comment

  1. In the relationship economy, relationships play a strategic role in success. How do we measure intangible relationship assets? The Relationship Networking Industry Association ( is the standards body for the capture, measurement, and management of "relationship capital (RC)". Do you know your RC score? Do you believe that keeping your commitments and having high perceptions is important in this inter-connected world?

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