A Must Read Article: The Benefits of Facebook “Friends”


While researching online about intrapersonal relationships online and on social networking websites I found the perfect article they represented the ideas I wanted to express in our later article we will be writing. The article was written by Nicole N. Ellison, Charles Steinfield, and Cliff Lampe titled, “The Benefits of Facebook “Friends”: Social Capital and College Student’s Use of Online Social Network Sites.”

I felt that this article was extremely thorough, although it made it lengthy it was very interesting to read because it the audience was targeted toward college Facebook users (The original reason the site was established). This article looked at the old and new relationships that users are maintaining and forming online. Authors said, “Previous research suggests that Facebook users engage in “searching” for people with whom they have an offline connection more than they “browse” for complete strangers to meet,” (Lampe, Ellison, Steinfield, 2006).

This statement is true because most people on Facebook are necessarily looking to become friends with strangers; however, this is not the case for dating websites. These social networking websites are meant for individuals to find new people they did not know previously and begin an offline and/or online relationship. This idea supports, “a hallmark of this early research is in presumption that when online and offline social networks overlapped, the directionality was online to offline- online connections resulted in face-to-face meetings.” The article also stated that statistic that 1/3 of respondents later met the new online friends face-to-face; furthermore supporting, “relationships that being on line rarely stay there,” (Lampe, Ellison, Steinfield).

A final interesting point about this article was the way authors used a specific term: social capital. This refers to, “the network of social connections that exist between people, and their shared values and norms of behavior, which enable and encourage mutually advantageous social cooperation,” (dictionary.com). Before reading this article I would talk about the intrapersonal relationships users form and maintain online, but social capital incorporates that idea of connection and adds how these groups work and behave together.

If you are interested in reading more of this article the link is provided below. The article also presents a lot of data from the authors studies. I look forward to continue using this source and others as prepare to write my final piece for Writing, Research, and Technology.

Source: [PDF] from pbworks.com


About kaitlinhill13

Currently a Junior @ Rowan University. Majoring in Elementary Education & Liberal Studies for English/ Writing Arts. Also obtaining a certification in Special Education and Reading. At Rowan University I am a member of the field hockey team, SAAC, Relay for Life, Elementary Education Club, and SNJEA. I also work on campus in the Payroll Office. "Who Finds A Faithful Friend, Finds A Treasure"

One response »

  1. I found this article interesting because I actually met my boyfriend through a social media website. We lived less than five miles from each other and shared some similar interests so when he searched one day I came up as a someone he might know. He must have liked my picture and what I had to say because he messaged me. We talked for a couple months before agreeing to meet with a group of friends in public, that was six years ago and we are extremlly happy. So for me I made a new “friend” and a new friend on a social media site that was not for neccesarily for dating.

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