The impact of ICT on social network structure
Every social network is affected by relational patterns and social regularities. This chapter examines three central questions regarding the structural configuration of adolescents' online social networks. The first is how heterogeneous the composition of adolescents’ social ties is becoming, and to what extent this change is linked to social and technological factors. The second is whether this change affects the strength of adolescents’ social ties. The third is the effect of ICT on social capital, specifically whether ICT supports bonding or bridging social capital. The chapter provides with a discussion of the digital divide and its implications. It also examines the impact of network density and Internet use on the quality of social relations among adolescents, and the impact of ICT on their ability to reconfigure their social networks and relational pattern.