Social context and communication channels choice among adolescents

Gustavo S. Mesch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As online communication is more and more integrated in everyday life to support and maintain existing social ties, this study examined the factors associated with preference of face to face, phone or online conversations. A contextual framework that emphasizes the role of relationship origin, relationship intensity and content of communication on communication channel choice among adolescents was empirically tested. Based on a nationwide survey in Israel, it was found that communication content, relationship origin and place of residence affect the preference of face to face and online communication. Phone communication appears to be a more non specific channel to conduct personal and non personal conversations and relationship origin did not affect its use. These findings suggest that relationship origin is important, and face to face communication is preferred for ties that were initiated face to face and online communication for ties that were initiated online. For this sample of regular population, there is no indication that online communication tends to be personal or hyper personal. The use of all the communication channels is preferred to the maintenance of existing ties and is less used for the creation of new ties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-251
Number of pages8
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009


  • Adolescents
  • Computer and communication channel choice
  • Internet and society
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • General Psychology


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