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Social network profiles as information sources for adolescents' offline relations

Cédric Courtois (UGent) and Anissa All (UGent)
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Abstract
This paper presents the results of a study concerning the use of profile pages by adolescents to get to know more about offline friends and acquaintances. Previous research has indicated that social network sites are used to gather information on new online contacts. However, several studies have demonstrated a substantial overlap between offline and online social networks. Hence, we question whether online profiles are meaningful in gathering information on these 'offline' friends and acquaintances. The results indicate that the combination of passive uncertainty reduction (monitoring a profile) and interactive uncertainty reduction (communication through a profile) explains certainty about both friends and acquaintances. Second, it shows that the results of online uncertainty reduction positively affect self-disclosure, which is imperative in building a solid friend relation. Furthermore, we find that uncertainty reduction strategies positively mediate the effect of social anxiety on the level of certainty about friends.

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Chicago
Courtois, Cédric, and Anissa All. 2012. “Social Network Profiles as Information Sources for Adolescents’ Offline Relations.” In 62st Annual ICA Conference, Proceedings. Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University, Department of Communication studies.
APA
Courtois, C., & All, A. (2012). Social network profiles as information sources for adolescents’ offline relations. 62st annual ICA conference, Proceedings. Presented at the 62st annual conference International Communication Association (ICA - 2012), Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University, Department of Communication studies.
Vancouver
1.
Courtois C, All A. Social network profiles as information sources for adolescents’ offline relations. 62st annual ICA conference, Proceedings. Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University, Department of Communication studies; 2012.
MLA
Courtois, Cédric, and Anissa All. “Social Network Profiles as Information Sources for Adolescents’ Offline Relations.” 62st Annual ICA Conference, Proceedings. Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University, Department of Communication studies, 2012. Print.
@inproceedings{2919650,
  abstract     = {This paper presents the results of a study concerning the use of profile pages by adolescents to get to know more about offline friends and acquaintances. Previous research has indicated that social network sites are used to gather information on new online contacts. However, several studies have demonstrated a substantial overlap between offline and online social networks. Hence, we question whether online profiles are meaningful in gathering information on these 'offline' friends and acquaintances. The results indicate that the combination of passive uncertainty reduction (monitoring a profile) and interactive uncertainty reduction (communication through a profile) explains certainty about both friends and acquaintances. Second, it shows that the results of online uncertainty reduction positively affect self-disclosure, which is imperative in building a solid friend relation. Furthermore, we find that uncertainty reduction strategies positively mediate the effect of social anxiety on the level of certainty about friends.},
  author       = {Courtois, C{\'e}dric and All, Anissa},
  booktitle    = {62st annual ICA conference, Proceedings},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Phoenix, AR, USA},
  publisher    = {Ghent University, Department of Communication studies},
  title        = {Social network profiles as information sources for adolescents' offline relations},
  year         = {2012},
}