Persistence and change in social media

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Persistence and Change in Social Media

This article compiles a series of papers to identify elements of social media practice that are persistent across platforms, users, and cultures.

Several points of stability are identified, including:

  • Strong, intimate social relationships online tend

to be also strong, intimate social relationships offline (Dutton, Helsper, & Gerber, 2009; Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe, 2007; Hampton, Sessions, Her, & Rainie, 2009).

  • People who tend to communicate more online also

tend to do so offline (Quan-Haase, 2008; Wellman, Quan-Haase, Witte, & Hampton, 2001).

  • The distribution of contacts will always be skewed

with few friends being close and the majority being weak (Lewis, Kaufman, Gonzalez, Wimmer, & Christakis, 2008; Roberts, Dunbar, Pollet, & Kuppens, 2009).

  • There will be a gap between what users say they do

and what they actually do as the investigation of privacy concerns on social network sites has shown (Gross & Acquisti, 2005; Young & Quan-Haase, 2009).


The term "social media practice" is proposed as a means to overcome the transient nature of the phenomena encountered on social media.


External Sources

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