The internet also makes it easier for people to organise face-to-face meetings rather than just maintain electronic contact with those living far away. It is worthwhile to note that face-to-face communication helps develop bonds of trust and reciprocity between individuals and such bonds help make societies healthier, more caring and more efficient.

Write a one-sentence summary for paragraph 1 and one for paragraph 2. And then, explain how these summaries are written.

(1) The internet also makes it easier for people to organise face-to-face meetings rather than just maintain electronic contact with those living far away. It is worthwhile to note that face-to-face communication helps develop bonds of trust and reciprocity between individuals and such bonds help make societies healthier, more caring and more efficient. The internet can be used to make an appointment to meet a friend in the local pub or to advertise and encourage people to attend a communal social activity. Moreover, friends initially made on-line may subsequently be met face to face. In short, the ability to engage in 'on-line' social activity could help to stimulate greater 'off-line' social activity too (Robinson et al., 2000; Shah et al., 2001; Hampton & Wellman, 2002) – with consequential beneficial impacts on the stock of social capital.

(2) On the other hand, 'on-line' activity could serve to displace 'off-line' activity. Those engaged in a virtual network may spend less time participating in their local social networks. Even if they are not particularly predisposed to withdraw from face-to-face contact, time spent on the internet is time not spent doing something else, and one of the activities that might be displaced is socialising with friends and family (Nie & Erbring, 2000; Nie, 2001). Similar arguments have been, indeed, previously made about the growth in the second half of the 20th century of television watching (Steiner, 1963; Putnam, 2000); but whereas watching television can, in fact, be turned into a communal activity, using a computer is usually a solitary activity. Indeed, it has been argued that the solitary nature of internet use may result in people becoming lonely and depressed, thereby undermining their ability to form or sustain friendships (Kraut et al., 1998).

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