Face-to-face and electronic communications in maintaining social networks: the influence of geographical and relational distance and of information content

Taede Tillema*, Martin Dijst, Tim Schwanen

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

Onderzoeksoutput: ArticleAcademicpeer review

75 Citaten (Scopus)


Using data collected among 742 respondents, this article aims at gaining greater insight into (i) the interaction between face-to-face (F2F) and electronic contacts, (ii) the influence of information content and relational distance on the communication mode/service choice and (iii) the influence of relational and geographical distance, in addition to other factors, on the frequency of F2F and electronic contacts with relatives and friends. The results show that the frequency of F2F contacts is positively correlated with that for electronic communication, pointing at a complementarity effect. With respect to information content and relational distance, we find, on the basis of descriptive analyses, that synchronous modes/services (F2F and telephone conversations) are used more for urgent matters and that asynchronous modes (in particular email) become more influential as the relational distance increases. Finally, ordered probit analyses confirm that the frequency of both F2F and electronic communication declines when the physical and relational distance to social network members increases.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)965-983
Aantal pagina's19
TijdschriftNew media & society
Nummer van het tijdschrift6
StatusPublished - sep.-2010

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