SNS CITY - An exploratory study about the differences between social networking site (SNS) contacts, face-to-face contacts, and contacts both known from SNS's and face-to-face
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In this thesis the differences between social networking site (SNS) contacts, face-to-face contacts and contacts both known from SNS’s and face-to-face, are of interest. Not research has been done yet concerning this topic, much literature only focuses on social networking sites or the impact of the Internet on face-to-face meetings. In order to find an answer to the research question, survey research has been carried out among social networking site users; questions about general characteristics, personality, SNS use, functions of SNS’s an face-to-face meetings, online to offline and offline to online interactions were asked. Univariate data analyses and some bivariate analyses with the statistical analysis program SPSS were used to analyze the data. The main conclusion is that there is much overlap between face-to-face contacts and SNS contacts; most face-to-face contacts are also SNS contacts, and contacts on SNS’s are also seen face-to-face, although this is a very small share of the total number of SNS contacts. Most SNS contacts consist of weak ties (like former classmates, acquaintances) – these people are known, but the ties with these people are not strong enough that real, face-to-face meetings are being established with them. SNS’s are among the vast majority of the respondents not used to meet new people. Both SNS’s and face-to-face meetings serve to communicate with current friends.