Past research on online relationships has predominantly been concerned with how the quality of online relationships compares with offline relationships. This research has been more concerned with the medium itself than with the meanings that users construct around their interpersonal interactions within this medium. The current paper seeks to redress this imbalance by exploring the ways that available social cues are used to shape the meanings of online relationships. Sixty Internet users, ranging in age from 19–51 years, were interviewed about their online relationships. It was found that ideals that are important in traditional relationships, such as trust, honesty, and commitment are just as important in online relationships; however, the cues that signify these ideals vary.Peer-reviewedPublisher versio
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