The main purpose of this research was to establish what Dutch adolescents feel, think, prefer and expect when it concerns online communication in their friendships. In addition, this research wanted to determine factors that pattern these feelings, thoughts, preferences and expectations. A mixed method was used to provide not only significant details about the use and the evaluation of online communication by adolescents, but also to provide more insights on and anecdotes about what goes on in the minds of the adolescents when it concerns online communication. Seven adolescents were interviewed and 164 adolescents were surveyed. We found that on a daily basis most adolescents use Instant Messaging programs and social network sites very frequently. Most adolescents still prefer offline communication in comparison to online communication in their friendships, however; they do see advantages in online communication. Besides that, we found that a large part of the adolescents have certain online expectations of their friends. Finally, we found several gender and age differences in the use, the evaluation, the experience and expectations concerning online communication. The degree in activeness on social network sites and Instant Messaging programs was an influencing factor as well.

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J. Jansz, E. Menchen Trevino
Media, Culture & Society
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

A.H. Draaijers. (2014, June 20). Online friendships: What do adolescents feel, think, prefer and expect?. Media, Culture & Society. Retrieved from