ICT and existing social ties
Online communication can be intimate, personal, or non-personal. This chapter takes a closer look at the use of online communication to maintain existing relationships. In doing so, it asks how characteristics of social ties affect the likelihood of using online communication to sustain friendship networks, and the ways relational patterns of social networks affect the use of online communication with friends. The chapter discusses youth social network effects in the adoption of media and the factors involved in the choice of communication channel such as strength of tie, relationship origin, and multiplexity, or multiple dimensions of relational flows. Adolescents may in fact improve their social relationships through online communication activities, but also by using the Internet as a source of shared activities and common culture among peer groups.