|Title of host publication||The international encyclopedia of interpersonal communication|
|Editors||Charles Berger, Michael Roloff|
|Publication status||Published - 25 Jan 2016|
The Internet has effects on how people meet, communicate, and maintain friendships. Internet applications such as social network sites change the way, the frequency with which, and the people with whom individuals keep contact. The current entry describes the sort of friendships that can be distinguished since the arrival of the Internet, and how online social networks differ from offline social networks. Moreover, the entry considers whether the term “online friendships” is appropriate, or whether it should be “friendships online.” The entry then provides an overview of the theoretical perspectives on online communication and social interactions. Furthermore the effects of online communication on friendship and the features that are linked to these effects will be presented. The effects of the Internet on the quality of our friendships and social capital are also considered. The entry closes with some issues for future research.