FRIENDING ONLINE – BRIDGING AND BONDING ON SOCIAL NETWORK SITES FOR ROMANIAN ADOLESCENTS Cover Image

FRIENDING ONLINE – BRIDGING AND BONDING ON SOCIAL NETWORK SITES FOR ROMANIAN ADOLESCENTS
FRIENDING ONLINE – BRIDGING AND BONDING ON SOCIAL NETWORK SITES FOR ROMANIAN ADOLESCENTS

Author(s): Anca Velicu, Bianca Balea, MONICA BARBOVSCHI
Subject(s): Social Sciences, Sociology
Published by: Editura Academiei Române
Keywords: adolescents; social capital; bridging; bonding; social network sites; befriending; friends

Summary/Abstract: Our article deals with the process of young Romanians (11 to 18 years old) (be)friending other people on social media through processes of bridging and bonding, as one of the crucial developmental tasks in adolescence is creating and maintaining meaningful relationships. Using a rather processual approach to social capital (as opposed to seeing it as an outcome), we explored the phases of bridging, bonding and maintaining relationships and their interconnectedness in the process of Friending online. Drawing on a qualitative methodology (12 single-sex focus groups conducted in spring 2016 in two urban areas of Romania), our analyses focused on young people’s friending practices on Facebook and Whatsapp, taking into account gender and developmental differences, as well as specific affordances of social media platforms as mediated by young people’s digital and social media skills. Our results revealed complex processes in place, including the transformation of ‘latent’ ties into ‘weak’ ties, bonding in groups and decluttering mechanisms as a reaction to digital crowding through platform-enabled actions, such as unfriending, blocking or unfollowing.

  • Issue Year: 2017
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 121-133
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: English