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The Development of Trust within close relationships formed within Social Network sites

Gambi, Shankaron (2009) The Development of Trust within close relationships formed within Social Network sites. In: Proceedings of the WebSci'09: Society On-Line, 18-20 March 2009, Athens, Greece. (In Press)

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Social network sites have become a popular medium to develop and maintain relationships (Boyd & Donath, 2004, Donath, 2007). Through the ease with which people can communicate with offline friends and make new friends, millions of people are using social network sites as a way to socialize (Lampe et al, 2006) and form new relationships (Fono & Rayes -Goldie, 2006). However, social network site users who use such sites to form new relationships are potentially putting themselves at risk of developing relationships with people that they know little about and have not met face to face. Therefore developing trusted relationships within social network sites appears a lot harder to achieve than offline due to the lack of face to face contact and the ease with which deceptive information is passed off as being reliable (Barnes, 2007, Joinson & Dietz, 2002). In this research we focus on the importance of trust within close relationships formed within social network sites and explain how trust is built within those relationships without face to face contact. An online questionnaire of 250 social network site users found that trust within close social network site relationships is very important and is built through a series of signals and behaviours that have a cost to them on behalf of the sender. Important trust building activities included being given emotional and practical support, being confided in, spending time online exclusively together, having similar opinions and being reciprocal with messages and gifts sent. The findings also highlighted the importance of other forms of communication within those relationships and having offline face to face friends in common. These findings suggest that telephone contact and friends in common may be being used as costly signals to indicate trustworthiness, personal investment, and to verify reputation and identity on behalf of the signaler. References. Barnes, S. (2007). A privacy paradox: Social networking in the United States. First monday, 9, 11-17. Boyd, D & Donath, J. (2004). Public displays of connection. BT Tech Journal, 22 (4), 71-83. onath, J. (2007). Signals in Supernets. Journal of Computer mediated Communication, 13 (1), 12-20. Joinson, A & Dietz, U, (2002). Explanations for the Perpetration of and Reactions to Deception in a Virtual Community. Social Science Computer Review 20, 275-289. Lampe, N, Heino, R., & Gibbs, J. (2006). Managing impressions online: Self-presentation processes in the online dating environment. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 11 (2), 15-21. Fono & Rayes -Goldie, David & Raynes-Goldie, Kate. (2006). Hyperfriends and Beyond: Friendship and Social Norms on LiveJournal. In M. Consalvo & C. Haythornthwaite (Eds.), Internet Research Annual Volume 4: Selected Papers from the AOIR Conference (pp. 91-103). New York: Peter Lang.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Social Network Sites Close Relationships Trust
Subjects:Web Science Events > Web Science 2009
ID Code:237
Deposited By: W S T Administrator
Deposited On:11 Mar 2009 00:21
Last Modified:25 Oct 2011 16:43

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