chapter  4
20 Pages

Online relationship formation

WithIlan Talmud, Gustavo Mesch

Online sociability is an integral part of young people’s digital literacy and cultural consumption of technological artefacts. The ability of the Internet to facilitate online contact, especially with geographically remote people, has caught the popular imagination and the empirical attention of researchers studying online relationship formation. Major changes in the patterns, frequency, content, and quality in interpersonal friendship formation, maintenance, and communication have been noted by a large number of studies that focus on different aspects of this major social change. This chapter focuses on one important aspect, namely, the similarities, differences, and overlaps between online and offline social relationships. It presents a summary of the perspectives that explain online relationships formation. The chapter is also dedicated to understanding some of the potential effects of online relationship formation on young people’s social circle.