Is Facebook isolating its users socially? Or does the popular social networking website actually enhance social interaction?
Those are the questions that Lisa Selin Davis of TIME magazine is asking:
Jenny has not returned my calls in roughly a year. She has, however, sent me a poinsettia, poked me, and placed a gift beneath my Christmas tree. She's done all this virtually, courtesy of Facebook.com, the online social networking site where users create profiles, gather "friends," and join common interest groups, not to mention send digital gifts.
Though Jenny has three children, ages 4 to 14, and rarely finds time for visits, phone calls or even e-mail, the full-time mom in upstate New York regularly updates her status on Facebook ("Jenny is fixing a birthday dinner," "Jenny took the kids sledding") and uploads photos (her son in the school play).
After 24 years, our friendship is now filtered through Facebook, relegated to the online world. Call it Facebook Recluse Syndrome, and Jenny is far from the site's only social hermit.