Friendship maintenance in the digital age: Applying a relational lens to online social interaction

Irina Shklovski, Louise Barkhuus, Nis Bornø, Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


HCI research has explored mobile technologies to support social activity and to support greater feelings of connected- ness. Much of this has focused on different mobile devices, individual preferences and modes of use. Yet social activity and connectedness are about ongoing enactments of relationships across technologies. We propose the relational lens as a way to include a notion of relational tension in addition to individual preferences in the design and analysis of mobile communication technologies. We discuss three strategies people use to manage tensions in their relationships: selection, segmentation and integration. Our data show that use of social technologies can at times destabilize social relations and occasion relational tensions, forcing users to renegotiate how they enact these relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCSCW '15 Proceedings of the 18th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing
Number of pages11
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date2015
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-2922-4
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventThe 18th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 14 Mar 201518 Mar 2015
Conference number: 18


ConferenceThe 18th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing
Internet address
SeriesACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing


  • social network sites
  • personal relationships
  • friendship
  • mobile communication
  • information sharing

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