The paradox of Facebook: interdisciplinary perspectives of social support online and face-to-face Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/undergraduate_thesis_or_projects/h702q817q

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  • The extensive adoption of social media has provoked widespread debate about how online communication impacts social relationships. An apparent paradox of Facebook is that people simultaneously express feeling more and less connected than ever before. Through perspectives from psychology and communication studies, this thesis addresses a question of public concern: is Facebook making us less social? Psychologists assert that crucial aspects of communication are not mediated online, so face-to-face contact remains uniquely suited to establish genuine, supportive relationships. Communication scholars posit that Facebook facilitates lightweight, frequent contact among users, which helps people build an awareness of support resources within their social network. Common ideas from each discipline are compared about how perceived social support is developed face-to-face and on Facebook. Discrepancies between Psychology and Communication researchers are discussed, including what constitutes “social” behavior and “authentic communication.” The alleged paradox of Facebook is analyzed to reveal deterministic orientations that are prevalent but incomplete ways to understand society's relationship with technology.
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