Facebook: for staying in touch with, er, my next-door neighbour

A further thought on my leaving Facebook: I remarked yesterday that as an expat, Facebook was useful for seeing updates from UK friends. I realised last night, however, that I actually really miss interactions with my next-door neighbour here in Eindhoven!

This reminds me of Barry Wellman’s WebSci’11 keynote on ‘networked individualism’ and how the internet has changed the way we live our lives. One comment was that a large proportion of online interactions are between neighbours (i.e. people who live within 5km of one another). (His paper Does Distance Still Matter in the Age of the Internet? looks at the impact of distance on the frequency of email, phone and face-to-face contact… I’m not certain if there was a publication on distance and social networking specifically: anyone?)

I find it intriguing that one of the links I miss most from the online world of Facebook is in fact someone I see in person all the time. Strong and weak ties, people, strong and weak ties.


One response to this post.

  1. […] (My prior posts on this topic: initial departure, reflections one week in, realising I miss close friends) […]


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