Vitak, J. (May 2014)
The increasing ubiquity of information and communication technologies has dramatically impacted interpersonal communication and relationship maintenance processes. These technologies remove temporal and spatial constraints, enabling communication at a distance for low to no physical costs. Research has established that technologies such as email supplement other forms of communication in relationship maintenance, but to what extent do newer technologies--which contain a unique set of affordances--facilitate these processes? Furthermore, do SNS users engage in different practices through the site and obtain different relational benefits based on specific characteristics of the tie? Findings from a survey of adult Facebook users (N=415) indicate that geographically distant Facebook Friends, as well as those who rely on the site as their primary form of communication, engage in relationship maintenance strategies through the site to a greater extent and perceive the site to have a more positive impact on the quality of their relationships.