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Computer-Mediated Communication in Personal Relationships

Kevin B. Wright and Lynne M. Webb

This is the first collection of readings on computer-mediated communication focusing exclusively on interpersonal interactions. Examining messages exchanged via email, Twitter, Facebook, websites, and blogs, the authors analyze communication issues of ongoing importance in relationships including deception, disclosure, identity, influence, perception, privacy, sexual fidelity, and social support. The book examines subjects that attract intense student interest – including online performance of gender, online dating, and using computer-mediated communication to achieve family/work life balance – and will inspire further research and course development in the area of computer-mediated communication in personal relationships. Because it provides a synthesis of ideas at the nexus of interpersonal communication theory and computer-mediated communication theory, the book can serve as a textbook for advanced undergraduate as well as graduate courses.
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19. Problematic Youth Interactions Online: Solicitation, Harassment, and Cyberbullying (Andrew R. Schrock / danah boyd)

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CHAPTER NINETEEN

Problematic Youth Interactions Online: Solicitation, Harassment, and Cyberbullying

Andrew R. Schrock

danah boyd

The adoption of the Internet by American youth (Center for the Digital Future, 2008; Madden, 2006) and the recent rise of social media have provided youth with a powerful space for socializing, learning, and engaging in public life (boyd, 2007; Gross, 2004; Ito, Baumer, Bittanti, boyd, Cody, Herr-Stephenson, Horst, Lange, Mahendran, Martinez, Pascoe, Perkel, Robinson, Sims, & Tripp, 2009; Palfrey & Gasser, 2008). Most American youths navigate an online environment from childhood through adolescence, where they explore their identity, interact with peers, and develop relationships through social network sites (SNSs), online chats, massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs), message boards, and blogs. While the majority of parents (59%) say the Internet is a “positive influence” in their children’s lives (Rideout, 2007), there is also growing concern about the risks of online interactions. Parents, teachers, and law enforcement have raised concerns about the dangers posed by new forms of online communication, particularly online predators, social network sites (Cassell & Cramer, 2007; Marwick, 2008), anonymous contact, and “sexting” (multimedia messaging on mobile devices). This chapter summarizes and interprets the character and scope of research on two types of problematic interpersonal communication that are central to these fears: online solicitation and cyberbullying (or online harassment). Based on an emerging body of research, conclusions can be drawn on the prevalence of these problematic forms of online communication to young Americans, risk factors,...

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