Internet Affordances and Teens' Social Communication: From Diversification to Bonding

Internet Affordances and Teens' Social Communication: From Diversification to Bonding

Gustavo S. Mesch (University of Haifa, Israel)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-926-7.ch002
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As the Internet has been adopted and integrated in the daily lives of an increasing number of young adolescents in western countries, scholars and commentators are debating and speculating on the impact of these new media on the activities, social relationships and worldview of the young generation. The communication environment has become more and more complex, as youth combine the use of electronic mail, open forums, chat rooms, instant messenger and social networking sites. In this chapter the author argues that the use of different social applications, partially define the structure and content of social communication and association. In this chapter the author reviews the literature on the motivations for the use of each social application and the impact of the use on the type, size and quality of social ties that are maintained and created.
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Youth And Friendship Formation And Development

Adolescence is an important developmental stage, during which social relationships outside the family expand; their quality has been linked to various behavioral outcomes (Giordano, 2003). Social interaction with peers provides a forum for learning and refining socio-emotional skills needed for enduring relationships. Through interactions with peers, adolescents learn how to cooperate, to take different perspectives, and to satisfy growing needs for intimacy (Rubin, Bukowski & Parker, 1998; Crosnoe, 2000). Youth who report having friends are more confident, more altruistic, and less aggressive, and demonstrate greater school involvement and work orientation. For adolescents, personal relationships are a type of social support. Those with more supportive friendships were shown to have higher self-esteem, to suffer depression or other emotional disorders less often, and to be better adjusted to school than youth with less supportive friendships (Hartup, 1996; Collins & Larsen, 1999; Beraman & Moody, 2003).

The literature on personal relations has long been concerned with the quality of the ties that bind individuals. One way to measure this quality is by the strength of these ties (Marsden & Campbell, 1984). A tie’s strength is usually assessed by a combination of factors such as perceived closeness, intimacy and trust. Weaker ties are evinced in more casual relationships and in sparser exchanges; they typify relationships of those who enjoy fewer kinds of support. Strong ties exist in relationships on a high level of intimacy, involving more self-disclosure, shared activities, emotional as well as instrumental exchanges, and long-term interaction (Marsden & Campbell, 1984; Haythornthwaite, 2002).

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Table of Contents
Robert Zheng, Jason Burrow-Sanchez, Clifford J. Drew
Chapter 1
Robert Z. Zheng, Jason J. Burrow-Sanchez, Stephanie Donnelly, Megan E. Call, Clifford J. Drew
This article presents a conceptual framework for research exploring teen online communication. It brings attention to the influences of related... Sample PDF
Toward an Integrated Conceptual Framework of Research in Teen Online Communication
Chapter 2
Gustavo S. Mesch
As the Internet has been adopted and integrated in the daily lives of an increasing number of young adolescents in western countries, scholars and... Sample PDF
Internet Affordances and Teens' Social Communication: From Diversification to Bonding
Chapter 3
Laura Widyanto, Mark Griffiths
It has been alleged by some academics that excessive Internet use can be pathological and addictive. This chapter reviews what is known from the... Sample PDF
Unravelling the Web: Adolescents and Internet Addiction
Chapter 4
Susan M. Miller, Kenneth L. Miller, Christine Allison
The goal of this chapter is to explore the formation of online relationships in the dual contexts of adolescent cognitive and psychosocial... Sample PDF
Connected at any Cost: Adolescent Developmental Needs and Online Relationship Formation
Chapter 5
Bryant Paul, Lelia Samson
This chapter considers the potential role of the Internet in the process of adolescent sexual identity construction. It starts by providing evidence... Sample PDF
The Internet and Adolescent Sexual Identity
Chapter 6
Larry L. Burriss
What in the world is a chapter on law doing in a book on psychology, behavior and affect (that’s af’ ekt, not ? fekt’)? Well, the analogy of a game... Sample PDF
The Role of Law in Adolescent Online Social Communication and Behavior
Chapter 7
Zheng Yan
The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA; 2000) requires an Internet filtering and public awareness strategy to protect children under 17 from... Sample PDF
Do High School Students Benefit from the Children's Internet Protection Act?
Chapter 8
Louis Leung
The advent of new media technologies, such as e-mail, blogs, MSN, online games, mobile phones, iPods, MP3, PS3, NDS, video on demand (VOD), and... Sample PDF
Effects of Motives for Internet Use, Aloneness, and Age Identity Gratifications on Online Social Behaviors and Social Support among Adolescents
Chapter 9
Myron Orleans
The research literature regarding fears associated with online activities of adolescents was reviewed and assessed in relation to earlier research... Sample PDF
Fear for Online Adolescents: Isolation, Contagion, and Sexual Solicitation
Chapter 10
Megan E. Call, Jason J. Burrow-Sanchez
The Internet is widely used among adolescents. Although the Internet is a beneficial tool for youth, some children and adolescents are at risk for... Sample PDF
Identifying Risk Factors and Enhancing Protective Factors to Prevent Adolescent Victimization on the Internet
Chapter 11
Sharmila Pixy Ferris
In this chapter the author explores Millenials’ participation in the public good, investigating whether they use social networking for social... Sample PDF
Millenials, Social Networking and Social Responsibility
Chapter 12
Ikuko Aoyama, Tony L. Talbert
Cyberbullying is a growing phenomenon among adolescents, teens, and young adults who either perpetrate and/or are the recipients of harassing and... Sample PDF
Cyberbullying Internationally Increasing: New Challenges in the Technology Generation
Chapter 13
Maja Pivec, Paul Pivec
Many academics have stated that the perceived decline in education is attributed to the change in the students themselves; that students today think... Sample PDF
Misconceptions About Being Digital
Chapter 14
Muhammet Demirbilek, Berna Mutlu
Information and communication technologies (ICT) have become an inevitable part of adolescents’ daily life and have caused macro and micro changes... Sample PDF
Language Learning and Social Communication Using Chat Rooms
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