Facebook LIVE exposed my digital social capital in a way I never expected. I didn’t realize people I don’t talk to anymore are still interested in what I am doing. Take a look at bridging and bonding social capital as people stay connected with members of previous communities (high school, college, jobs) and maintain social capital (Ellison et al., 2007).
On November 16, 2016 I posted my first Facebook LIVE video. I sat in my car, held my phone in front of my face and talked about a Rotary meeting I just spoke at, where I thanked them for sponsoring me to attend RYLA in July.
About 2 minutes into my video I began to cry, because I realized how much had changed since July: “I was so anxious about going to grad school…I’m tearing up and I’m LIVE on Facebook…Now I’m in school, which I was really concerned about in July…and the reality is I had nothing to worry about because school has been so good.”
I had 79 likes and 30 encouraging comments on this video from “friends” from all walks of my life. Two friends who I hadn’t talked to in a couple years called me and said how much they could relate to my video and shared how far they have come since college. Facebook LIVE has highlighted my weak ties (Putnam, 2000) and has prompted me to post more Facebook LIVE videos, because it increases my social capital and I enjoy reconnecting with friends.
Ellison, N., Steinfield, C., & Lampe, C. (2007) The benefits of Facebook “Friends:” Social Capital and College Student’ Use of Online Social Network Sites. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 12 (4), 1143 – 1168.
Putnam, R. (2000) Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon & Schuster.