Platforms including Facebook, Path, and Zynga help us strengthen relationships with people we already know.
The functionality of these businesses is clear, but their immense popularity can be perplexing.
After all, people managed to get married and maintain friendships for eons before the Web ever existed.
So, are these virtual social platforms truly necessary?
And whom do they really help—those who face most problems interacting in the offline world, or those who generally have little trouble meeting people?