Saturday, June 9, 2018

Kostas Gogalis Love, Facebook and Friendship: a case study

 According to Bauman’s Liquid Love(2003), the advance in virtual proximity makes human connections frequent and shallower and simultaneously intense and shorter. It makes us wonder if “friendships” on social networks are for “the good, the pleasant or useful” (Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book VIII).
The aim of this study is to investigate three different types of relationships between young Internet users; exclusive Facebook friend, recently added Facebook friend and exclusive face-to-face friend with regard to social attraction, self-disclosure, predictability, trust, gender, length of relationship, self-esteem, and sociability.

A questionnaire was distributed in a private school of Athens to 158 students with active accounts on Facebook (case study). The findings show that students with the largest number of friends in real life, also have a larger number of friends on Facebook. There is a moderate negative correlation between self-esteem and hours spent on Facebook and a moderate positive correlation between sociality and the number of friends on Facebook. The values of friendship (social attraction, self-disclosure, predictability, and trust) within the Facebook “environment” are always more intense than in that outside Facebook. It was also found that boys have higher levels of self-esteem and sociability, but the differences are more pronounced in the former than in the latter.
Teenagers use technology, specifically social networks, to meet their needs. This use must be understood and analyzed according to their circumstance and not according to the expectations of adults. Technology is fully integrated into their daily routines (Livingstone, 2008: 395), thereby reshaping the environment in which they live, by negotiating their identities and interacting mostly with peers they know (boyd, 2014: 9-10). The search for self and identity is associated with the context of sociability and friendship. A social network like Facebook is the frame of reference.

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