Best Way to Maintain Social Capital

Last Updated Aug 27, 2007 9:54 AM EDT

Sociogram courtesy the Los Alamos Center for Nonlinear StudiesKeeping in contact with associates, friends, and extended family is difficult. But the Pew Internet and American Life Project has good news for the Internet-savvy. As your social network grows, the best way to manage your "social capital" is through email.

Pew found that 85% of Internet users found help via their social ties on a key issue in their life, including finding a place to live and securing a job. On the other hand, only 72% of the Internet averse found help through their social network. The Pew report specifically focuses on the modes and methods of contact. As one's social network grows, email comes through as a stalwart social capital maintainer. Internet users are also far more likely to have a larger social network than non-users.

Word to the wise: "Alt-Tab" is the best way to quickly hide the fact that you're browsing MySpace at work. But if you get caught, just explain to your boss that you're building your "social capital." Any phrase with the word 'capital' in it is sure to make the boss giggle with glee.

Sociogram image courtesy the Los Alamos Center for Nonlinear Studies