As technology give way to broader telecommunication options, a new form of social community was formed. The Cyber Community has been one of the most intriguing forms of contemporary society and adolescents welcomed it willingly.
Today’s adolescents are vicariously participating in online social networks. According to the research made by Wolak and colleague, out of 246 individuals who engaged in close online relationships about 145 do not see each other face to face. Thus, it can be surmised that face to face relationships are not anymore a factor that affects relationships between two persons.
Conventional friendships signifies personal contact which is absent in on-line relationships. Nonetheless, both relationships exist so as to provide comfort and help to participants. However, in on-line relationships, the level of trust and confidence is usually lower. While some people see on line relationships to be a way to escape reality, others view this sort of relationship as helpful in identifying real personality and attitude.
Adolescents use online networking to communicate both with their online friends and offline friends as well. They can also send messages and express themselves more freely and at most times most effectively. Several online games which are predominantly role-playing games in character also extend adolescents capacity to interact with other people.
Negotiating and solving conflicts are highlighted in this kind of virtual social community. It also through different virtual social networks that teenagers can gather information about certain areas of interest and views, this is a feature that can be found in forums and blogs.
Subrahmanyam, K. and Greenfield, P. (2008). Online Communication and Adolescent Relationships. Volume 18 No. 1. Retrieved on October 18, 2008 from www.futureofchildren.org
Wolak, J., Mitchell, KJ. And Finkelhor, D. (2002) Close Online Relationships ina National Sample of Adolescents. Retrieved on October 18, 2008 from http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2248/is_147_37/ai_94598385/pg_
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