Edited By Carol J. Bruess
18. Parental Uncertainty and Information Seeking on Facebook
← 382 | 383 → Parental Uncertainty and Information Seeking on Facebook
LIESEL L. SHARABIDAVID J. ROACHÉKIMBERLY B. PUSATERI
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The impact of mediated communication on interpersonal relationships has been well documented (for review, see Walther, 2011). However, the pervasive role of mediated communication—social network sites (SNSs) in particular—in family communication has received scant attention. In fact, only recently have scholars begun to unpack the ways families communicate and relate through SNSs. Of those with Internet access, more than two thirds of middle-aged adults (ages 30–49) and young adults (ages 18–29) use SNSs (Duggan & Smith, 2013). This suggests that a large number of parents and their college-aged children are on Facebook and are “friends” with each other (e.g., Child & Westermann, 2013; Kanter, Afifi, & Robbins, 2012).
This chapter explores, through the lens of uncertainty reduction theory (URT; Berger & Calabrese, 1975), how, if at all, parents use Facebook to obtain information about their child’s life at college. Originally applied to initial interactions, URT has since been applied to SNSs (e.g., Antheunis, Valkenburg, & Peter, 2010) and long-distance relationships (LDRs; Maguire, 2007). SNSs are effective information-seeking channels (Westerman, Van Der Heide, Klein, & Walther, 2008), and Facebook has even become a socially acceptable way to monitor romantic partners (Utz & Beukeboom, 2011). However, it is not yet known ← 383 | 384 → if parents take advantage of Facebook’s affordances to reduce...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.