This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Online social networking and offline communication: issues and impacts
May 30, 2010 Sybil Edmonds
Social networking and communication Abstract: The popularity of social networking websites has revolutionized the way that many people communicate, both online and offline. However, it has been difficult to understand whether the increased online activity has had a positive or a detrimental effect on offline communication. This study will use research synthesis of studies previously conducted on the subject of online communication, and specifically, social networking. Areas of focus will include that of selective self-presentation, online and
offline communities, and the formation of online relationships. By examining these topics, it is hoped that a more definitive answer can be reached to the question- has social networking affected our ability to communicate in the offline world?
The rise of computer-mediated communication has unquestionably changed the ways that people interact with one another, both online and offline. People¶s participation in social networking sites, dating sites, and online community groups have led to a change not only in how we meet new people and maintain connections, but also in the ways people interact with one another offline. Such changes lead us to a question that must be answered: how has the evolution of social networking websites affected our ability to communicate with one another in the ³offline´ world? By employing research synthesis to examine the topics of selective self-presentation online, the formation of online and offline communities, and whether differences between online and offline relationships exist, and with the help of theories such as social information processing (Gibbs et al., 2006), media richness theory (Walther, 1992), and social presence theory (Walther, Loh and Granka, 2005), the answer to this question should become clear.
Social networking and communication The first step in understanding social networking and communication is to examine the different effects the sites can have on interpersonal interaction. Selective
self-presentation can greatly influence how people get to know one another, especially in an online context. Often the only information social networking site users get about others is online, and users themselves control the information that is revealed. The formation and survival of online and offline communities is examined, and links between whether an increase in community participation in one area leads to a decrease in community participation in another is investigated. Likewise, differences in the levels of intimacy experienced in online friendships, as compared to offline friendships, is examined. Understanding the differences in interaction in online compared to offline environments is important to uncovering how social networking websites have impacted offline communication skills. This review of the literature will provide the necessary background and context for a study. Many studies have already been conducted on various areas of communication in relation to the internet, but few have examined the effect of social networking on offline communication. Thus, I feel that the best way to delve deeper into the subject is to conduct a literature review, and to synthesize the findings myself. The purpose of this study will be to identify themes and broad concepts from previous research that has been conducted. I will not use any statistical analysis; rather, I will compare and contrast the findings of previously conducted studies against one another, in the hopes of coming to a conclusion as to the relationship between social networking and communication. By examining selective self-presentation online, the integration of online and offline communities, and the changes in online and offline relationships, we can attempt
Social networking and communication to comprehend the far-reaching changes in ³socialization due to the entry of new
technologies, characterized mainly by a loss of community [and] creativity´ (Flick, 1999, p. 650). By using a qualitative research approach, along with social information processing theory, media richness theory, and social presence theory, the study will explore the impact that social networking sites have had on our ability to communicate with one another in the ³offline´ world. Examining how technology influences our communication styles will allow for a greater understanding into how we might be able to change them, in order to better understand one another in online and offline contexts. Theoretical background One theory that addresses the differences between online and offline communication is that of social information processing (SIP). The theory predicts that ³in the absence of nonverbal cues, communicators adapt their relational behaviors to the remaining verbal and linguistic cues available in CMC [computer-mediated communication]´ (Gibbs et al., 2006, p 155). This practice has the potential to create farreaching consequences in the offline world, by lessening a person¶s ability to detect deception and social indicators. Examining the misrepresentation of self that occurs online can provide a good understanding for what is happening to these people offline. Do they distort reality so much online that their offline persona is barely recognizable? Do these people believe the fabrications they create, so much so that it alters their offline personality? Social presence theory is another approach that can be used to understand the effect that social networking sites have had on offline communication. Walther et al. (2005) found that the theory was developed when, beginning with communication media
Social networking and communication such as the telephone, ³the reduction of nonverbal cues available in various forms of
telecommunication led to reductions in the capacity to transmit and receive interpersonal impressions and warmth´ (p. 38). Hancock (2004) examined the use of irony and sarcasm in both computer-mediated communication (CMC) and face-to-face communication (FTF) contexts, and found that they were used more often in CMC, which could lead to misunderstandings. Walther et al. (2005) also note that overall, CMC provides less involvement and intimacy than FTF, and that the ability of CMC to provide meaningful social bonding is questionable. Using social presence theory will aid in understanding the role that non-verbal cues play in communication, and whether social networking sites have affected our ability to send and receive these cues in an offline context. Finally, media richness theory ³suggests that communication across various media differs, based on the bandwidth and number of cues available within them´ (Walther, 1992, p. 56). According to this theory, FTF communication is the ³richest´ form of communication. Other media are less rich, with formal letters and memoranda being categorized as the ³leanest´ (Walther, 1992). CMC falls somewhere in the middle. Examining the reasons behind these categorizations would allow for insight as to how the meaning transmitted by FTF communication could be impacted by the popularity of CMC. Findings When examining the nature of selective self-presentation on social networking sites, it is clear that selectively revealing one¶s personality traits online leads to a better chance of developing the relationship, both online and offline. This falls in line with the ideas of social penetration theory, which suggests that individuals ³often withhold
Social networking and communication negative information early on in relationship development´ (Gibbs et al., 2006, p. 169). If a person is too honest in their online persona, and reveals too many negative traits, this honesty may decrease the potential for future communication. The key is to strike a balance between giving away too much truthful information about oneself, and being too deceptive when interacting with others online. Selective self-presentation has not had a negative impact on offline communication; in fact, it has helped millions of people begin relationships on social networking websites, a good number of which have successfully moved to the offline world. The findings on the effect of social networking on communities were surprising.
Wang and Wellman (2010) state that ³panic about the decline of social connectivity is an old story. Commentators have offered different reasons, ranging from industrialization, capitalism, socialism, urbanization to bureaucratization´ (p. 1149). Few, however, have pointed to the social networking as the cause of social disconnection. Many researchers have found that online social networking has not had a detrimental effect on offline communities; rather, it has even enhanced them in some cases. In fact, people have spent about the same amount of time socializing face-to-face since social networking became popular, and very few have reported a decrease (Wang and Wellman, 2010). Thus, social networking has actually strengthened communities in many cases, and has allowed people to become more involved in their chosen community interests. A common theme that many researchers have addressed when discussing online and offline relationships is the absence of non-verbal cues in online communication, and how these affect the development of relationships. In this field of study, social presence theory has been used by many researchers to explain relationships formed through CMC
Social networking and communication (computer-mediated communication). Communication through social networking
websites is typically very low in social presence, as there are no social cues beyond what is written on the screen. Though it was found that it is difficult to build trusting, lasting relationships online that transfer to the offline world, communication on social networking sites can actually serve to strengthen existing offline relationships. Selective Self-Presentation One of the most popular ways of socializing online is through dating websites, despite the disproportionate number of people who misrepresent themselves in hopes of attracting more prospective suitors (Gibbs et al., 2006). Users participate in ³selective self-presentation´ by advertising only their best qualities online, while hiding less desirable details about themselves (Gibbs et al, 2006, p 153). Though this may attract other people online, it is likely that any attempts at an offline relationship would be shortlived, as Ben-ze¶ev (2004) notes that a face-to-face meeting usually terminates the online relationship, either because the people find they are not compatible, or because they decide to move the relationship offline. Walther and colleagues (2009) note that the attempts made by people to move an online relationship offline ³reflects the assumption that deception is more reliably detected face-to-face or using more traditional communication media´ (p. 231). Selective self-presentation certainly influences offline communication, though it remains to be seen whether it has a positive or negative effects. When analyzing the prevalence of selective self-presentation online, it is important to note that with the popularity of sites such as Facebook and MySpace, people can easily form judgments about other people. They can then use the information they collect to decide whether they would like to pursue a relationship with that person, either online or
Social networking and communication offline. Walther, Van der Heide, Hamel and Shulman (2009) found that the less control
people have over their personal profile, the more other people trust the information that is being presented to them about that person. Height and weight can be misrepresented, as well as physical appearance, income and status (Toma et al., 2008, p. 1023). Online dating website users identify deception as the biggest downside to online dating and, according to Toma et al. (2008), 86% of online daters believe they have been deceived about another person¶s physical appearance. People are well aware that others are judging them by the profile they have posted, so many treat it as a marketing tool to show their best side, rather than use it as an honest representation of what they are really like (Toma et al., 2008). CMC is a method of interaction that encourages hyperpersonal communication. Fewer non-verbal cues are encountered than usual, as there is no face-to-face interaction. Instead, people have more control over what they say, and how. Their editing abilities improve, and the resulting communication may actually be more intimate than what is experienced in a FTF meeting (Caplan, 2003). Facebook is a good example of this, because ³it provides, on any single page, both users¶ self-descriptions and descriptions about users that are generated by other people« [it] offers a useful setting in which to compare these types of information on interpersonal impressions´ (p. 230). Facebook page owners have at least some power over selfpresentation on their profile page, unlike most other social contexts. In particular, ³one can use personal Web pages to select attractive photographs of oneself or write selfdescriptions that are self-promoting´ (Buffardi & Campbell, 2008, p. 1304). Walther et al. (2009) also found that on Facebook users¶ walls, ³messages, which comprised a small
Social networking and communication part of the overall information on the profiles, exerted a significant difference on observers¶ ratings of the targets¶ likeability and physical attractiveness´ (p. 233). Interestingly, while people do selectively sensor the way they present themselves online, they also tend to become more comfortable with other people more quickly than in offline relationships. The anonymity of the Internet allows people to feel more comfortable with disclosing personal information (Henderson & Gilding, 2004). Henderson and Gilding (2004) also noted a survey of 176 newsgroup users, 60% of
which reported the formation of online relationships involving moderate to high levels of self-disclosure. Though selective self-presentation online can help people initiate more relationships, is can also result in consequences if users want to move their communication with one another offline. Walther et al. (2009) found that ³suspicion and potentially distorted online self-presentations are especially problematic for people who meet online and consider moving their acquaintanceship offline´ (p. 231). However, social networking site users have been conditioned to expect only partial disclosure from their online friends, as ³the possibility of deception in online self-descriptions is taken to be a given´ (Walther et al., 2009, p. 231). Thus, selective self-presentation can be viewed in two different ways. It can be seen as a strategy that social networking site users can employ to increase the amount of online and offline communication they have with other people. By highlighting only their better qualities, users can attract a broader range of people to communicate with. Selective self-presentation can also be seen as a negative action. Users may befriend other people based on information that is falsely presented to them; upon discovering the
Social networking and communication 10 discrepancy, they may decide to end communication with the other person. Misleading potential friends online carries the risk that other people will see you as a dishonest person who has something to hide if they find out that you were not truthful. However, it is important to note that selective self-presentation online is not necessarily an indicator of withholding information offline as well. Though some researchers have noted that narcissists generally have the same behavior regardless of whether it is online or offline (Buffardi & Campbell, 2008), most other people remain the same offline as they were before using social networking sites. Instead, people develop relationships online, often with a degree of deception involved. What differentiates selective self-presentation on social networking websites as opposed to chat rooms and other parts of the Internet is that there is the potential of meeting an online friend offline. People may still try to present themselves as a little bit taller, thinner, and better looking by editing photos of themselves. On sites like Facebook, however, it can sometimes be difficult to control the pictures that other people post of you. You can remove the µtag¶ of your name from the bottom of the photo, but friends of friends can still browse through albums and may recognize you in your natural, un-airbrushed glory. This, according to Toma et al. (2008), is what keeps people from self-presenting too selectively: the knowledge that you might one day meet the person you are planning on deceiving. The Changing Definition of Community The rise of social networking has not only affected the ways we view ourselves, but also the ways we conduct ourselves in group settings. Online communities have been formed, but has it been at the expense of offline communities? Social networking has
Social networking and communication 11 redefined the meaning of community altogether. A participant in McMillan et al.¶s (2006) study on the influence of the Internet amongst college students confirmed this idea when she said that the internet has had made it much easier to find a community that is centered around the same interests that you have. The definition of community has altered significantly with the advent of the Internet and social networking sites, but it had been changing even before that. Nip (2004) notes that ³traditional communities have evolved since the Industrial Revolution, but this does not mean they have been destroyed; rather, communities are now maintained in new ways, such as through social networking´ (p. 409). Piselli (2007) states that communities are not a place, but rather a network of meaningful social relations with friends, neighbors, relatives, and colleagues. Online communities that have been formed through Facebook, MySpace, dating websites, and common interest websites have not destroyed offline communities; rather, they are supplementing them. Wang and Wellman (2010) found that ³there is abundant, consistent, and systematic evidence showing a positive association between Internet use and contact with friends´ (p. 1150). Offline communities have suffered from decreased attendance and interest in recent years, and this shift has lowered the importance we place on social interaction as a group, as well as face-to-face community participation. However, the idea of ³community´ now includes online groups as well. Wang and Wellman (2010) note that once broadband internet was introduced, Facebook and MySpace exploded in popularity because people were able to leave their computers on all day, allowing for more spontaneous communication (p. 1151). However, ³many OLCs (online communities) can be left at
Social networking and communication 12 will, thereby limiting the amount of social control and reducing the members¶ motivation for longer-lasting investments´ (Matzat, 2010, p. 1172). In this case, while online communities have gained popularity over the last few years, they may not have the staying power and stability that offline community groups have. Social networking allows people to keep in contact with people they might not otherwise be able to (Piselli, 2007). Users are able to stay in contact with distant relatives and friends much more easily, and cheaply, than even ten years ago. Piselli also notes that online communication is not an isolated new way of interacting; rather, it combines with and complements other communication methods people use, such as face-to-face interaction and the telephone. Duque and Ynalvez found ³Internet access is associated positively with some measures of social contact, involvement and cultural integration´, and that long-term users have more social contact (2009, p. 502). They also found that those who use the Internet to get involved tend to be socially involved already (Duque and Ynalvez, 2009). Matzat (2010) also notes ³online interaction is often embedded in offline networks« it can lead to new contacts that are transferred to the offline world in unplanned ways´ (p. 1172). Online communities can also enhance offline relationships, as McMillan et al. (2006) note that children play online games with real world friends, and offline friends use online technology to plan social events. Though online communities have been credited with expanding the ways that people can communicate with one another, they have also increased exclusion, as only those who have access to the Internet and who have a certain level of knowledge can participate in online communities (McMillan et al., 2006). Additionally, those who do not
Social networking and communication 13 have access to broadband Internet, and who are still using dialup, do not enjoy the same benefits of spontaneous online interaction. Nip (2004) also cautions, ³online communities only help strengthen offline communities when they have the same goals and norms, and only if a sense of belonging to the offline community is strengthened by the online one´ (p. 412). If these conditions are not met, the benefits of online communities to offline ones may not be as strongly felt. Duque (2009) reiterates this point, as he found in his study of internet use and sociability of 371 South Louisiana residents that ³more experience with the internet is associated with fewer social activities«the internet is allowing those who have used it the longest to substitute offline integration with online communities´ (p. 502). Thus, contrary to early opinions on online social networking, one¶s involvement in an online community does not result in a withdrawal from their offline activities and communities. Nip (2004) also points out that online communities are not necessarily autonomous from offline communities. Rather, they can complement one another, and participation in an online community helps to strengthen its offline counterpart. The fears of researchers in the early days of the Internet and social networking about many people locking themselves in their home and dedicating themselves exclusively to the online world is simply not the case. Behavior in Online versus Offline Relationships Examining the behavior of people and their relationships appears to be one of the more difficult areas to conduct research. Researchers take very different stances on how online communication affects online and offline relationships. With the focus of interaction shifting away from FTF communication and toward online participation,
Social networking and communication 14 online and offline relationships have evolved. Social networking sites can be useful for creating new relationships or maintaining old ones, as CMC is cheaper, quicker, and more efficient than visiting in person, using the phone, or writing letters (Wang and Wellman, 2010, p. 1150). They can also be used to strengthen offline relationships; people in long-distance relationships use CMC an average of three to four times per week to sustain their relationships (Ramirez & Broneck, 2009). In fact, Caplan (2003) notes that the formation and maintenance of interpersonal relationships is the primary reason that many people use social networking sites, and the Internet in general. However, some researchers contend that the rise in the use of these sites can also have a detrimental effect on its users, causing them to become withdrawn and less socially involved. As Kraut et al. (2002) note, ³introverts become more introverted online´ (in McMillan et al., 2006, p. 87), which can only lead to social problems offline, such as isolating oneself and an inability to connect emotionally with others. Additionally, Caplan (2003) found ³individuals who are lonely and depressed are more likely than psychosocially healthier people to develop a preference for online social interaction´ (p. 629). The results of some studies have also found that there can be a lack of accountability in online relationships, causing people to release their anger or frustration onto others online. They feel as though they can get away with it because they do not see the people online on a regular basis, and picking fights with online friends has fewer consequences than doing so offline (Henderson & Gilding, 2004). Participants in McMillan et al.¶s (2006) study revealed that some people felt they had lost the intimate connection with people they saw everyday, and that these relationships had been replaced with online ones. However, these online relationships
Social networking and communication 15 were sometimes more fulfilling than offline ones. McMillan (2006) also found that people could become addicted to the protection that comes from hiding behind a screen. Haythornthwaite (2001) wrote that ³time may be stolen from local face-to-face exchanges and given to distant friends, stolen from the phone and given to e-mail, and stolen from now with promise of return later´ (p. 371), based on her study of how the Internet both competes with and complements everyday life. Social networking site users can, however, adapt their communication style when necessary. Walther, Loh and Granka found ³when most nonverbal cues are unavailable, as is the case in text-based CMC, users adapt their language, style, and other cues to such purposes´ (2005, p. 37). However, they also concluded ³text alone, and current textbased systems, are not up to the task of emotional exchange´ (Walther et al., 2005, p. 58). While social cues can be recreated to some degree in CMC, emotional cues cannot, making social networking sites a difficult place to begin or maintain a relationship if that is the only form of communication being used. Chan and Cheng (2004) reported similar findings, as they found that both social presence theory and lack of social context cues make online relationships difficult to develop, due to the lack of social cues and the limitations that CMC presents to interpersonal communication. Some researchers have also suggested that the definitions of ³friends´ and ³socializing´ has changed, and that society needs to update its views on the matter. Wang and Wellman (2010) argue that ³what appears as socially isolating from the view of traditional group-based analysis can be fully social in the context of a network society´ (p. 1164). The concept of who people identify as friends has experienced a significant change since the onset of social networking sites. People have hundreds, even thousands
Social networking and communication 16 of friends on their Facebook and MySpace profiles, but the relationships are not always meaningful. The majority of those friends could be what was previously defined as an acquaintance; people you have met once or twice, perhaps through a mutual friend, and who you rarely ever interact with online or offline. Now, there is almost no way for a casual observer to identify how many of a person¶s 600 friends are actual friends, and how many the person barely knows at all. Despite the popularity of social networking, and the growing number of people who develop friendships online, people still report that their offline relationships are more meaningful that online ones. Respondents to Chan and Cheng¶s (2004) study reported higher levels of ³breadth, depth, understanding, interdependence, and commitment´ (p. 316) in offline relationships, as opposed to online ones. Wang and Wellman (2010) also state that ³those with more friends use the Internet more to keep in contact; those with heavy Internet use develop more friendships´ (p. 1164). Thus, the nature of relationships developed on social networking sites is one that cannot be completely agreed upon, because researchers cannot conclude whether people turn to the Internet to help them form relationships they could not otherwise do offline, or whether they use social networking as a secondary tool in their relationships. Baym, Zhang and Lin (2004) found that people who use the Internet tend to be more sociable people in general, meaning that they also used face-to-face communication and the phone to maintain relationships. Something that researchers can agree on is that social cues are an integral part of interpersonal communication. CMC has challenged ideas about which social cues are conveyed, and how. On social networking sites such as Facebook, there is no video or
Social networking and communication 17 audio to rely on when communicating. Users only have the written word to rely on, which significantly changes the formation pattern of relationships. These findings are in line with social presence theory, as a reduction of non-verbal cues requires people to improve their communication using different skills, such as writing and editing. Media richness theory, however, has been challenged by the findings of this literature review. The theory ranks FTF ahead of CMC as the ³richest´ form of communication. Yet, the studies examined have regularly shown that hyperpersonal communication takes place online far more often than offline, as people reveal more intimate details about themselves sooner than they normally would offline. People also admitted that their conversations online with people they met on social networking sites were more meaningful than offline relationships. They have only words to rely on when communicating online, which forces them to think about what they say and how they are saying it. In the cases examined in this literature review, it was computer-mediated, not fact-to-face, that was the ³richest´ form of communication. Interpersonal communication style has been influenced offline as well. Walther et al. (2005) note that in work settings, e-mail is used for the maintenance of relationships and for socializing purposes, rather than interacting face to face or over the phone. Relationships that were originally developed offline can be strengthened online, such as by posting on each other¶s Facebook pages, instead of interacting face-to-face. Ben-Ze¶ev (2004) describes intimate online relationships as unique, and defines them as ³detached attachment´. He notes that while face-to-face and online relationships have similarities, such as spontaneity and casual involvement, online relationships also involve planned discourse, which does not usually happen in face-to-face relationships
Social networking and communication 18 (Ben Ze¶ev, 2004). Often, those looking to form online relationships are not looking for a sexual relationship; instead, they are looking for conversation and somebody to listen to them. Ben Ze¶ev (2004) notes that online conversations ³fulfill two basic human needs: the need to be able to discuss freely the profound aspects of our individual lives and the need to communicate with others for social reasons´ (p. 29). Conclusion Social networking sites have provided us with new ways to communicate, both online and offline, since their inception. No longer must people meet face-to-face in order to develop and maintain meaningful relationships. Instead, people can use selective selfpresentation to attract other people online. Excessive selective self-presentation on social networking websites is best avoided, because of the potential of either meeting in person or having a mutual friend that may reveal the truth. These people¶s personas often remain the same offline, but they make themselves appear to be more popular and better looking online than they actually are, in order to attract the largest number of people as possible. Communities have not been as affected as previously thought by researchers; in fact, the concept of a community is alive and well. The definition of community may have changed from a physical location to a less defined, non-physical one, yet people are still as involved and interested in their communities as ever. In fact, more people have become involved because social networking sites make it easier to participate in communities. Online relationships on social networking sites allow for more in-depth conversation and connection than might otherwise be found in a face-to-face relationship. Social cues used in face-to-face interaction are missing, but people have been able to
Social networking and communication 19 adapt when using computer-mediated communication. Online relationships can be just as fulfilling and meaningful as offline relationships, and social networking sites are used to enhance social lives offline, not inhibit them. One limitation of this study is that it does not reveal the reason why people seek out intimate relationships online, whether it is through Facebook or a dating website. For people who found romantic relationships online even though they were already in an offline relationship, were they deliberately seeking out romance? Would they have followed through had it not been for social networking sites, which are easier and more discreet than going out to meet someone? Much of the research available for study does not differentiate between the different social networking experiences for males versus females, nor does it separate the experiences of different age groups. Additionally, because of the nature of the study, only themes can be drawn out, not causal relationships. Several recommendations for further study have been identified from the results of this study. The first is to attempt to understand why people feel the need seek out new relationships online. What aspect of their current relationships does not fulfill their needs? How do online relationships fill the void? Secondly, further research on the impact of social networking on pre-teen or teenage groups would be beneficial in understanding how new social networking and communication technologies impact their lives. Another area for further examination is the impact of the style in which people write online on offline written communication. Writing on social networking sites is known to be fragmented, full of slang, and to the point. It would be interesting to see how
Social networking and communication 20 much that has affected writing style in other areas. Lastly, examining the impact of social networking on senior citizens would be an informative look into how different demographics adopt and adapt to new communication technologies. After examining the effect that social networking has had on the way people present themselves online, how online and offline communities have been affected, and how relationship formation and maintenance has changed, it can be concluded that our ability to communicate offline has not been affected. In fact, our offline lives have been enhanced by the introduction of social networking websites, as people have been able to form more relationships and participate in more communities than they normally would have offline. Social networking has brought increased participation into peoples lives, and as a result, people have become more connected to each other and to their communities, both online and offline. Acknowledgements Thank you to Jennifer Duff and Jon Ellis for their helpful comments during the peer review process. References Baym, N., Zhang, Y., and Lin, M. (2004). Social interactions across media: interpersonal communication on the Internet, telephone and face-to-face. New Media & Society 6(3), 299±318 Ben-Ze¶ev, A. (2004). Flirting on and offline. Convergence 10(1), 24-42 Best, S. and Krueger, B. (2006). Online interactions and social capital: distinguishing between new and existing ties. Social Science Computer Review 24(4), 395-410 Buffardi, L. and Campbell, W. (2008). Narcissism and social networking web sites.
Social networking and communication 21 Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 34(10), 1303-1314 Caplan, S. (2003). Preference for online social interaction: a theory of problematic internet use and psychosocial well-being. Communication Research 30 (6), 625-648 Chan, D. and Cheng, G. (2004). A comparison of offline and online friendship qualities at different stages of relationship development. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 21(3), 305±320 Duque, R.B. and Ynalvez, M.A. (2009). Internet practice and sociability in South Louisiana. New Media & Society 11(4), 487-507 Flick, U. (1999). Social constructions of change: qualitative methods for analyzing developmental processes. Social Science Information 38(4), 631-658 Gibbs, J.L., Ellison, N.B., and Heino, R.D. (2006). Self-presentation in online personals: the role of anticipated future interaction, self-disclosure, and perceived success in internet dating. Communication Research 33(2), 152-177 Hancock, J.T. (2004) Verbal irony use in face-to-face and computer-mediated communications. Journal of Language and Social Psychology 23(4), 447-463 Haythornthwaite, C. (2001). The internet in everyday life. American Behavioral Scientist 45(3), 363-382 Henderson, S. and Gilding, M. (2004). µI¶ve never clicked this much with anyone in my life¶: trust and hyperpersonal communication in online friendships. New Media & Society 6(4): 487-506 Matzat, E. (2010). Reducing problems of sociability in online communities: integrating online communication with offline interaction. American Behavioral Scientist 53(8), 1170 ±1193
Social networking and communication 22 McMillan, S.J. and Morrison, M. (2006). Coming of age with the internet: a qualitative exploration of how the internet has become an integral part of young people¶s lives. New Media & Society 8(1), 73-95 Nip, J. (2004). The relationship between online and offline communities: the case of the Queer Sisters. Media, Culture & Society 26(3), 409±428 Ramirez, A. and Broneck, K. (2009). µIM me¶: Instant messaging as relational maintenance and everyday communication. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 26(2±3), 291±314 Toma, C., Hancock, J., and Ellison, N. (2008). Separating fact from fiction: an examination of deceptive self-presentation in online dating profiles. Personality and Psychology Bulletin 34 (8), 1023-1036 Walther, J.B. (1992). Interpersonal effects in computer-mediated interaction: a relational perspective. Communication Research 19(1), 52-90 Walther, J.B., Loh, T., Granka, L. (2005). Let me count the ways: the interchange of verbal and nonverbal cues in computer-mediated and face-to-face affinity. Journal of Language and Social Psychology 24(1), 36-65 Walther, J.B., Van Der Heide, B., Hamel, L.M., and Shulman, H.C. (2009). Selfgenerated versus other-generated statements and impressions in computer-mediated communication: a test of warranting theory using Facebook. Communication Research 36(2), 229-253 Wang, H. and Wellman, B. (2010). Social connectivity in America: changes in adult friendship network size from 2002 to 2007. American Behavioral Scientist 53(8), 1148 ±1169
Social networking and communication 23 Xie, B. (2007). Using the internet for offline relationship formation. Social Science Computer Review 25(3), 396-404