I think the internet (especially social media) has increased superficial social interactions. It is easier to stay in touch with people and feel like you belong somewhere.
But I think the internet has lowered the overall quality of social interactions. Social media has made it so that people feel “connected enough” with their social circle, thus reducing the need to meet up with folks in real life (and in doing so, potentially learn more about a person besides their “highlight reels”). I also think social media has made relationships more vulnerable to drama. It’s yet another platform where miscommunication and misunderstandings can occur, as well actual obnoxious behavior. There’s a whole wing of my family that is estranged from everyone else because of the political views they constantly espouse on Facebook. They probably do a better job of censoring themselves in real life, but for whatever they don’t hold back on the internet.
A lot of people try to avoid social media, but unfortunately for them–this is how invitations and event information are frequently disseminated. So if you aren’t on the social media platform favored by your social circle, then you’ll likely be excluded from stuff. It’s easy to place the blame on the anti-social media people for being “Luddities”, but I think this overlooks the very real phenomena of social media-exacerbated mental illness. A lot of people are depressed by being constantly bombarded by the highlight reels of their friends and family. Fear of missing out (FOMO) can be induced by watching your friends have adventures and bonding experiences without you. So for these folks, they really are better off not being on social media. The downside is that it is harder for them connect with all the other folks who don’t have a problem with social media.
Finally, I think modern conveniences have made it easier to “cocoon”. Almost every restaurant I frequent delivers now. “Netflix and chill” isn’t just an euphemism for sex; it’s also a great way of unwinding after a long day at work, along with gaming. It is perfectly normal to close oneself off with earbuds for the whole day. Chewing the fat with folks on the internet eliminates the need to chew the fat with strangers at the local drinking hole or bowling alley. So yes, I think we are more secluded. As a loner, I am not especially troubled by this but I do worry we are creating a generation of people who are more socially anxious and inept than their predecessors.