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Stated differently, youth use digital media to maintain connections established in face-to-face contexts.
CMC research, therefore, has explored different processes in online environments.
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).
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).
Bonding was defined as the momentary emotional experience of feeling connected to and affection for a friend.
Research comparing face-to-face and more distal forms of communication predates the rise of the Internet by several decades.