Net-friends: Adolescents' attitudes and experiences vs. teachers' concerns

Chien Chou*, Hsinyi Peng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study has three chief purposes: (1) identify Taiwan adolescents' attitudes and experiences regarding their online relationships, (2) understand teachers' attitudes and concerns about students' online relationships, and (3) investigate the discrepancies between students and teachers on these issues. The researchers surveyed 494 middle and high school students in Taiwan and interviewed 21 teachers as well. The results indicated that having net-friends is a part of Taiwan adolescents' social lives. They are quite honest about the personal information they reveal with their online friends and generally have very positive attitudes regarding their online relationships. Some have gone beyond online interactions to meet in person, often without telling their parents or teachers. In contrast, this phenomenon of online friendships is not common for teachers. Most teachers did not have first-hand experiences themselves because they are either too busy or have no desire to use the Internet to form friendships. Teachers generally think students are too young to handle the complicated, anonymous, casual interactions found in cyberspace and they believe students should know more about how to protect themselves in online relationships. Interpretations and comments are discussed and recommendations for future studies are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2394-2413
Number of pages20
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume23
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2007

Keywords

  • Internet friendship
  • Net-friends
  • Online relationship
  • Taiwan adolescents

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