How Do Interpersonal Relationships Affect Motive and Behavior on Social Networking Sites? An Examination of Differential Impacts of Real and Online Interpersonal Relationships
The increasing use of social networking sites (SNSs) has largely affected people’s internet attitude and behaviors. With the more and more diverse interpersonal relationship across people’s real and online world, this study aim to examine how real and online interpersonal relationships influence motives and behaviors on SNSs. Our research focused on individual’s behaviors on Facebook, a popular SNSs, and the correlations with their real and online interpersonal relationships. A better understanding of these correlations will help to give guidance to people who appear unhealthy internet behavior. The method to carry out this study was using a survey. The participants were 278 employees who work in a large medical organization. To address research goals, several statistical analyses including descriptive statistics, correlation analysis, and hierarchical regression analysis were conducted. Results indicated that:
(1) The real interpersonal relationship is positively associated to online relationship;
(2) Both the real and online interpersonal relationship is positively related to practical and entertainment motives of using Facebook, whereas online interpersonal relationship has an additional positive correlation to the social motive;
(3) as per the relationship with FB behavior, both real and online interpersonal relationships are positively related to receiving “Likes”, however, only online interpersonal relationship is positively related to actions of posting status information;
(4) both real and online interpersonal relationships have no correlation to the FB time, amount of FB friend, and frequency of giving “Likes”;
(5) FB motives have differential correlations on FB behaviors, although users with three kinds of motives all spend time on Facebook, only users with social motive are more likely to post status information and thus receive more “Likes”;
(6) Results of hierarchical regression analysis showed that there is no interaction effect between real relationship and online relationship on FB motives and FB behavior.
Such results might imply that the online relationship might be extended from real relationship. However, the real and online relationships play different roles on Facebook: Users having better online relationship reported higher intention to interact with friends on Facebook and post more status information, whereas real relationship revealed no correlation. Areas for future research and practical implications are also discussed.
Keywords - Facebook, Internet Behavior, Online Interpersonal Relationships, Real Interpersonal Relationships,