International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Do Online Friendships Contribute to the Social Development of Children and Teenagers? The Bright Side of the Picture
Dr. Gila Cohen Zilka

Youths worldwide have adopted social networking sites (SNSs) with incredible speed. We tested the following four questions: (a) Do children and teenagers view SNSs as a platform for fulfilling their psychological needs? (b) Do SNSs create a new type of mega-inflationary-friendship? (c) Do SNSs provide a compensating, complementing, and alternative sphere to FtF? (d) Do children view SNSs as improving their self-esteem, self-efficacy, and selfsatisfaction? The study used a mixed method; the sample included 163 respondents who completed questionnaires and 48 children who were interviewed (N=211). For each hypothesis, differences between gender and age groups were considered. The findings reveal the central and important role SNSs play for children and teenagers in fulfilling their social needs and improving their self-esteem.

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