Social media communication has become a popular way to make and keep friends in modern times. These sites allow people to connect with friends and relatives from anywhere in the world within a short period of time barder.
However, the use of social media can have negative consequences. For example, adolescents may form false identities on social media in order to harass their peers (Yau & Reich, 2018). Adolescents can also be bullied by other members of their social network who accept them as friends and then send nasty messages to them or make fun of them online.
In addition, adolescents who have problems in their friendships may feel isolated online as they can only see their friends from afar. They might not know what to say or how to respond to their friends’ online posts, which can lead to a lack of intimacy between them jigaboo.
Therefore, it is important to investigate whether the specific characteristics that characterize social media as a communication context, such as publicness/availability and visualness, are differentially associated with different dimensions of friendship quality. In particular, we investigated the relationships between the following features of social media: asynchronicity, quantifiability, and visualness; and the dimensions of friendship quality: validation, instrumental support, conflict resolution, and companionship distresses.
Path analysis yielded a complex pattern of associations, in which perceived social media features were significantly associated with the dimensions of friendship quality. For example, asynchronicity was positively associated with validation; quantitatively, publicness/availability, and visualness were positively associated with instrumental support and conflict resolution; and visualness was negatively associated with companionship precipitous.
Multi-group analyses (MGA) confirmed the direct association between social media features and different aspects of friendship quality; however, they also revealed indirect associations. We found a positive indirect association, via perceived online social support, between publicness/availability and all the dimensions of friendship quality except for validation; for example, posting or sharing photos or videos on social media increased adolescents’ perception of social support among their friends.
Furthermore, we found a negative indirect association, through expression of e-motions on social media, between cue absence and all the dimensions of friendship quality except for confirmation. For example, the more problematic social media users perceive that they do not have social cues when interacting with their friends, the less they experience the need for validation; on the other hand, the more they post or share photos and videos, the more they experience the need to express their emotions online mypba.
This research aims to better understand the effects of social media communication on adolescents’ friendships, and how these impacts might differ across gender groups and between problematic and non-problematic users of social media. It also aims to discuss how these impacts might be related to social media features that are specifically associated with adolescent’s friendship quality and the ways in which these features might be mediated by the interaction of social media communication with underlying psychosocial factors such as internalizing problems or coping strategies. Ultimately, this study aims to provide a theoretical framework for future studies that aim to explore the interactive effects of social media communication with friendship quality.