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The Social NetUnderstanding our online behavior$
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Yair Amichai-Hamburger

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199639540

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199639540.001.0001

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Online Romantic Relationships

Online Romantic Relationships

(p.62) Chapter 4 Online Romantic Relationships
The Social Net

Monica T. Whitty

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the leading theories pertaining to traditional relationships and discusses how these may explain the initiation, development, and maintenance of relationships formed on the Internet. It suggests that these traditional theories are insufficient when it comes to explaining this phenomenon, and that new hypotheses are required. These would explain, for example, why people self-disclose more in some online conditions than in others and how “hyperpersonal” relationships form online. The chapter points out that the Internet is not a homogenous space and that it is necessary to consider the different features and norms that govern the different spaces there. The chapter concludes with the claim that in the future we may no longer be taking the online/offline binary approach to relationships, but rather that the dividing line between the Internet and the physical world may actually appear seamless.

Keywords:   relationships, love, attraction, heterogeneous environment, self-disclosure, hyperpersonal relationships

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