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We compared feelings of emotional connectedness as they occurred in person and through digital communication among pairs of close friends in emerging adulthood.
Fifty-eight young women, recruited in pairs of close friends, engaged in four conversations each: in-person, video chat, audio chat, and instant messaging (IM).
One way to address potential differences in digital and in-person communication is to compare them directly.
In developmental psychology, the existing literature on social media use, while increasingly sophisticated, has nonetheless relied primarily on survey-based approaches.
Given the frequency with which adolescents and young adults use digital tools to communicate with friends, we hope to shed light on their ability to feel emotionally bonded when using various tools.Sending messages in Spanish can pose a challenge in typing accented letters and Spanish punctuation, as the method isn't always intuitive and varies with the software.But that hasn't prevented cellphone chat — technically known in both English and Spanish as SMS (for Short Message Service) — from becoming useful for Spanish speakers worldwide.Emerging adults are among the most avid users of digital communication technologies, including texting, instant messaging (IM), and video chat (Duggan & Brenner, 2013; Lenhart et al., 2011).Furthermore, today’s 18-29 year olds are often described as “digital natives” because they have grown up using these technologies, utilizing text-based tools to develop existing friendships during adolescence, a sensitive period for socioemotional development (Baird, 2010; Prensky, 2001; Steinberg, 2005).