Special Issue Information
Social media allow individuals to very easily connect and exchange information with as many (or as few) others as desired. Importantly, the people we connect and share with can be very well known others (e.g., close friends and relatives), people we know less (e.g., acquaintances we see from time to time), or even people we don’t really know or have never actually met face-to-face. Thus, an important question is how the strength of these connections influences what types of information we seek from and share with others, and what the underlying processes are. Traditional research on social capital has shown the benefits people can get from their social networks; strong ties provide us with emotional support, and weak ties provide us with non-redundant information. These assumptions might no longer hold true on social media where different contexts and audiences collapse and individuals tend to have much broader connections.
This special issue will bring together papers that focus on generating a current understanding about: 1) the benefits people seek and receive from their social media networks (i.e., information, knowledge, and/or emotional support) 2) how tie strength influences which benefits people receive; and 3) the underlying processes, especially the role of (self-related) self-disclosure.
We particularly seek papers that are theory driven and demonstrate underlying processes, including moderating and mediating variables, that can explain more directly how social tie strength relates to social capital (what people can obtain from their connections) and disclosure (what people share with their connections). Moreover, because much research on social media is focused on Facebook use by American students, we especially encourage contributions from other countries and on different social media platforms. Contributions are invited from all disciplines including psychology, media studies, communication science, and sociology. Please visit the link below for the full call.
Dr. Sonja Utz
Dr. Nicole Muscanell