A recent study has suggested that the internet is not making people more isolated, as some have argued.
The study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that, contrary to popular belief, the use of internet services has not hampered the ability of people to socialise.
The study was a follow up to a 2006 survey which suggested that people have become more isolated since the mid-1980s, and less likely to form close ties with people in their communities.
The latest study, however, suggests that the use of internet technologies is having the opposite effect.
The survey found that, rather than weakening the ties people have with their closest social circles and immediate community, the adoption of technology has allowed people to expand their social networks and open up relationships with larger, more diverse groups of friends.
"People's use of the mobile phone and the internet is associated with larger and more diverse discussion networks," wrote the researchers.
"And, when we examine people's full personal network, their strong and weak ties, internet use in general, and use of social networking services such as Facebook in particular, are associated with more diverse social networks."
The study comes amid ongoing debate about the long-term effects of the rise in social networking and community-based web services. In the enterprise space, administrators are faced with weighing the risks and benefits such services pose to both employee and corporate performance.
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