Date of Award
Union College Only
Bachelor of Arts
friendship, friendships, technologies, proximity, communicative
Friendships studies are an important aspect in the sociological field since these relationships are the fundamental networks of our society and promote proper socialization and well-being. Previous studies focus on the attraction between individuals expressing proximity as a major factor in friendship attraction and friendship maintenance. This research focuses on the elimination of proximity and how this affects the maintenance behaviors, specifically if communicative technologies are enough to fill the void of physically being together. Using a qualitative approach interviews were given to 12 freshman students and 12 senior students at Union college asking about their friendships with friends from high school. The results provide support for previous research such as the importance of proximity in sustaining friendships as well as new information on communicative technology use and its affects. Facebook was the most commonly used technology across all levels of friendship followed by text messaging and phone calls used mainly in best and close friendships. Motivation for using specific technologies were convenience and the level of how personal the technology will make the conversation. Convenience for the user was common with all levels of friendship whereas the level of intimacy in the conversation became more important in casual friendships. Unfortunately there were more negative than positive changes in the relationship mostly due to lack of proximity, however participants explain feeling as if nothing has changed when they are together again. Reasons behind these changes are the distance and a feeling of having a new life at college. Individuals expressed still feeling support and the same level of closeness with friends from high school. Regarding the technologies, individuals felt communicative technologies strongly helped their friendship and probably wouldn’t communicate with friends from the past without them as well noting the personal and impersonal characteristics the technologies posses. There were few differences between responses from male and female participants. Technologies that people chose to use were discovered to help sustain friendships enough to stop them from completely disintegrating but not strong enough sustain a meaningful connection like the relationship had before it became a long-distance friendship.
Goldberg, Lindsey B., "By choice or by chance : communicative technology use in sustaining long distance friendships" (2010). Honors Theses. 1137.