Abstract: Social media, we have been promised, supports the well-being of individuals and society. It has been said that it offers new opportunities for democratic participation, that it supports collective action and gives individuals a voice.
Social capital, once lost through the dormancy of ties, hidden as a result of infrequent contact, is made visible through the persistent and pervasive nature of social media. Yet, some suggest that the practice of social media does not live up to its hype, that it contributes to social isolation, stress, and disengagement.
This presentation explores the contradictory evidence of how digital technologies are related to social capital, participation, deliberation, and the fear and joy that results from the awareness that we are all missing out.