The strength of awkward ties: Online interactions between high school students and adults

Andrea Forte, Denise Agosto, Michael Dickard, Rachel Michelle Magee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

In this multiple case study of two high schools in the United States, we use interview and focus group data to examine the experiences of teen-age students when they friend and interact with teachers, high school administrators, parents, and other adults on social network sites (SNS). We identify several types of teen-adult interactions on SNS, including finding information, community building, and mentoring online skills, and we connect these findings to literature on homophily and context collapse. We also report on social media norms and policies of the schools where our fieldwork was conducted. We discuss how organizational policies surrounding social media use can inhibit or reinforce the development of age-homophilous networks and thereby encourage or reduce opportunities for teen-adult interaction online. Finally, we conclude that boundary work associated with managing these complex social experiences, though awkward at times, can be an important learning experience for adults and young people alike. Copyright is held by the owner/author(s).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGROUP 2016 - Conference Program
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages375-383
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781450342766
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 13 2016
Event19th ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work, GROUP 2016 - Sanibel Island, United States
Duration: Nov 13 2016Nov 16 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International ACM SIGGROUP Conference on Supporting Group Work
Volume13-16-November-2016

Other

Other19th ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work, GROUP 2016
CountryUnited States
CitySanibel Island
Period11/13/1611/16/16

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Keywords

  • Homophily
  • Policy
  • Question asking
  • Schools
  • Social media
  • Social network sites (SNS)
  • Teens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)

Cite this

Forte, A., Agosto, D., Dickard, M., & Magee, R. M. (2016). The strength of awkward ties: Online interactions between high school students and adults. In GROUP 2016 - Conference Program (pp. 375-383). (Proceedings of the International ACM SIGGROUP Conference on Supporting Group Work; Vol. 13-16-November-2016). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/2957276.2957282