We've all done it. We've all been victims of it. A computer connected to the Internet can capture the entire attention of a person, regardless of what's going on around them. The Internet has the power to isolate people from real world connection with other people.
The phenomena of social networking, however, can dramatically increase the number of people you are "connected" with. Old high school friends, relatives located across the country or in other parts of the world. New friends of friends - facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and the other social networking platforms make friendships that would never be possible in the real world possible. In this way, we are now seeing the Internet contribute to our interrelationships with other people, rather than web pages.
Let's face it. Social networking isn't going to change the fact that a single person can sit in a crowded room and shop on eBay oblivious to what's happening around them, or choose to stay in to stay in to surf the net as opposed to going out for drinks with friends. And social networking still puts you square in front of the computer, but it's nice to see technology contributing to human relations rather than insulating us from it.