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Pendahuluan

Di bab ini, kita akan mendeskripsikan dua hubungan penelitianuntuk menjelaskan


social capital mana yang bsdjfgbeu. Kami sudah melakukan penelitian terhadap
mahasiswa pengguna Facebook, salah satu SNSs paling populer diantara mahasiswa
di Amerika Serikat. Ada dua hal penting dalam penelitian ini. Pertama, what are the

social capital
implications, if any, of Facebook use by students, specifically in relation to
bridging and bonding social capital? Second, how is Facebook integrated into
the daily communication practices of its users? Specifically, are users articulating
existing relationships in Facebook, or are they using the site to discover
and interact with strangers?
Situs ini paling banyak digunakan oleh mahasiswa. Dari 94% mahasiswa yang berumur 18-25
tahun, 94% use Facebook, compared with just 45% who report using MySpace. Arnett (2000)
berpendapat bahwa masa diantara umur 18-25, yang dia sebut emerging adulthood, adalah
masa yang penting dalam perkembangan kehidpan sosial dan psikologi seseorang. Melihat
bagaimana mereka membangun suatu hubungan dengan orang baru ataupun teman lama mereka,
yang mana ada peran Facebook di dalamnya, penting bagi kita untuk memahami bagaimana
social capital diperhitungkan dan dipertahankan.
Dampak Internet pada social capital
Internet menawarkan berbagai cara untuk berinteraksi dan membangun hubungan baru pada
setiap sosial media yang ada. Tapi ada banyak perdebatan apakah internet memberikan dampak
positif atau negatif dalam kehidupan sosial seseorang. Beberapa penelitian menyatakan bahwa
dengan internet, seseorang bisa mengatasi permasalahan ruang dan waktu untuk berinteraksi
dengan orang lain yang memiliki kesenangan yang sama. Di sisi lain, beberapa peneliti
mengemukakan dampak negatif dari Internet seperti seseorang akan terisolasi dan terasingkan
dari komunitas mereka.
SNS dan Social Capital
the anonymous interactions between strangers on public forums, the majority of connections on
SNSs comprise pre-existing relationships. Furthermore, users are able to provide very detailed
identity information in their profiles, which are rarely anonymous. SNSs provide for public
displays of connections between users via Friend lists, which may help users expand their
networks through shared connections.
For many students, the undergraduate experience is an opportunity to interact with more and
different kinds of individuals than they might have encountered before college. SNS scholars
suggest that technological tools such as SNSs may assist people in maintaining relationships with
more individuals (e.g., Donath, 2007; Donath & boyd, 2004), as these sites simplify the process
of communicating with and keeping updated on the lives of hundredseven thousands of
Friends.

Ties vs. Friends in Social Capital and SNSs

On Facebook, all of a users contacts are labeled as Friends and there is little opportunity
within the standard profile for users to differentiate between close friends and casual
acquaintances. This differs from other SNSs, such as MySpace, which enable users to demarcate
their top 8 contacts.
When considering Friendship and social capital on SNSs, it is important to note that the concept
of social capital is not contingent upon close friendships and requires only that a connection exist
between two individuals in a network. Some types of social capital, like bridging, are difficult to
generate from close friends and depend on a heterogeneous set of ties in a social network. Hence,
even though SNS users are most likely not close friends with all of their Friends, especially when
connections can number in the hundreds or even thousands, these ties are likely to provide social
capital benefits.
The Role of Facebook in Generating Social Capital

Ellison et al. (2007) assessed levels of social capital and Facebook use in an undergraduate
student population, finding that students Facebook use was significantly related to their levels of
social capital. We examined three kinds of social capitalbridging, bonding, and maintained.
Bridging social capital, as described above, describes the benefits associated with weak ties, such
as access to novel information, and was measured using five items derived from Williams
(2006), as well as three additional items intended to assess outcomes of bridging social capital in
the MSU context. Bonding social capital is associated with close ties and was measured using
five items developed and validated by Williams (2006). Maintained social capital was assessed
using an original scale, which included items such as, Id be able to find information about a job
or internship from a high school acquaintance and If I needed to, I could ask a high school
acquaintance to do a small favor for me. These items were constructed in light of pilot interview
data that suggested one of the primary uses of Facebook for undergraduates was keeping in touch
with people from high school.
A further finding in studies was the heightened impact of Facebook use on bridging social
capital for students who scored lower on self-esteem scales. Interaction analyses in both studies
revealed that those lower in self-esteem reported greater benefit in terms of bridging social
capital from their Facebook use than those with higher self-esteem. This suggests to us that the
affordances of a SNS like Facebook may be helping those who might otherwise have difficulty
connecting with diverse others.
Mechanisms of Social Capital Generation in Social
Network Sites
Taken as a whole, our research suggests two trends. First, use of Facebook by undergraduate
students in our samples is associated with higher levels of bridging and bonding social capital,
and Facebook use appears to precede these gains in social capital, suggesting a causal
relationship. Second, users are more likely to use the site to connect with existing friends, distant
acquaintances, or latent ties than they are to use the site to meet new people. Additionally, using

the site to research or find out about people with whom they have some kind of offline
connection (but dont already know well) is a significant predictor of social capital.
Facebook extends proximity-based social processes in two ways. First, it allows those who
formed a relationship through physical proximity, but subsequently lost that proximity, to
maintain the relationship. High school students moving to college, people shifting jobs, or
families moving are all examples of this. Second, Facebook can reinforce relationships formed
through proximity that would be too ephemeral to survive otherwise. For example, two students
who meet through a class may connect for the duration of the class because of the forced
proximity. However, when that proximity is removed, the relationship may not survive the
sudden increased cost of maintenance. Facebook makes it easy to keep lightweight contact with
each other even when the benefits of proximity are no longer available.
Facebook enables individuals to maintain a larger set of weak ties. As described by Donath
(2007) and Donath and boyd (2004), SNSs can be social supernets in that they increase the
number of weak ties a user can maintain, thus expanding the range of available information
sources. This kind of social network, which consists of casual acquaintances and close friends, is
well suited for supporting ad-hoc advice-seeking. Larger heterogeneous networks of strong and
weak ties are more likely to include diverse individuals who share a tangential connection, but
can also serve as resources for new information.
Facebook allows individuals to make ephemeral connections persistent. In our everyday lives,
we frequently encounter people with whom we might want to reconnect at some point in the
future, but often the social or logistical barriers to do so are too high. The potential benefits of
staying in touch are overwhelmed by the costs of coordination, making it unlikely that the
connection persists.
Facebook lowers the cost of maintaining (or re-engaging) weak ties. A similar process occurs
when we use SNSs to connect with people from our past, a dominant strategy in SNS use. For
example, college students often use Facebook to maintain contact with high school friends.
Increasingly, older populations coming to Facebook reconnect with high school and college
friends with whom theyve lost touch, but have found again using the features of Facebook.
Facebook makes it easier to seek information and support from ones social network, and to
provide these resources to others. Communication between Facebook Friends is facilitated by the
site, and the transaction costs (Williamson, 1981) associated with online and offline interaction
are lowered due to the communication features of the site and because offline contact
information is often included in profiles. It is unlikely that individuals use Facebook to discover
large numbers of new close friends, but the site effectively facilitates the ability to ask for (and
receive) emotional support from strong and weak ties and supports acts of social grooming
(Donath, 2007; Tufekci, 2008). In our own use of Facebook, weve seen individuals suffering
from chronic health problems update their status with explicit statements marking pain or
depression, and receiving public comments of support and sympathy (and, most likely, private
notes as well).
Conclusion

We do not mean to suggest that all SNS activity is positive or results in social capital. There are
potential negative outcomes of many of the processes and features we mention above. For
instance, personal information about others may be used to broker productive interaction, but it
could also reinforce existing stereotypes, making them more intractable, or may be misused by
marketing agents or used for nefarious purposes such as stalking, bullying, and identity theft.
There are many who may not be taking advantage of the opportunities provided by these sites, as
has been illustrated by work on digital inequities (Hargittai, 2008). Overall, however, we believe
there is potential for positive social outcomes resulting from SNS use, and Facebook is a tool
that facilitates specific types of connections between people that can generate social capital. The
technical and social affordances of these sites allow users to maintain broader, more diverse
social networks, keep social ties they may have lost in other situations, and interact with a
diverse set of contacts using online tools. These outcomes of SNS use will have benefits we can
only guess at in the long run, but already weve seen positive effects on social capital among
both university students and workers in an enterprise setting (Steinfield et al., 2009). SNSs are
continuously reshaping our social networks and the communication practices we use to maintain
them, and thus constitute a vibrant, important, and challenging context for studying
communication practices and their social capital outcomes