From Wireless Healthcare, a piece that builds on the well validated finding that people with a strong social network have healthier profiles, both physically and mentally, than those who do not.
The BBC stumbled across an interesting story this week, according to a 30 year study by Chicago Northwestern University men who are shy or have few social interactions are 50% more likely to die of a heart attack, compared with men who are ‘the life and soul of the party.’ Whether regularly logging on to a social network makes up for a lack of real world interaction was not explained.
This seems to be true for people with degenerative conditions such as Aids,
"During the AIDS epidemic, researchers found that introverted people got sick and died sooner than extroverted people," said Bruce Naliboff, co-author and a clinical professor at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System.
Presumably danah boyd could run this strand of research through her class based analysis of social network software….?