Does Facebook-Enabled Communication Influence Weak-Tie Relationships Over Time? a Longitudinal Investigation Into Mediated Relationship Maintenance
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© 2020 National Communication Association. Although presumed to be a means of maintaining relationships, there is limited empirical evidence whether relationships are actually maintained over time by Facebook-enabled communication. Drawing on communicate bond belong theory, we focus on the most common Facebook friends: weak ties. Adult (N = 174) participants completed three waves of data collection each a month apart, reporting on three non-kin relationships: one with routine Facebook communication, one without routine Facebook communication, and one maintained on other modalities outside Facebook. Latent growth curve analyses suggest although relationships differ in mean closeness, uniqueness, and commitment, Facebook-enabled communication was not associated with relational change. Results suggest the frequency of Facebook-enabled communication reflects relationship closeness but does not influence change in closeness over three months.
Facebook; Friendship; Latent growth curve; Longitudinal methods; Social media; Weak ties
Does Facebook-Enabled Communication Influence Weak-Tie Relationships Over Time? a Longitudinal Investigation Into Mediated Relationship Maintenance.