BBC NEWS | Technology | Internet serves as ‘social glue’:

The internet has played an important role in the life decisions of 60 million Americans, research shows.

Whether it be career advice, helping people through an illness or finding a new house, 45% of Americans turn to the web for help, a survey by US-based Pew Internet think-tank has found.

It set out to find out whether the web and e-mail strengthen social ties.

The answer seems to be yes, especially in times of crisis when people use it to mobilise their social networks.