ISSN: 1550-7521

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Research Article Open Access

The Impact of the Internet on Teenagers' Face-to-Face Communication


This study investigated the relationship between teenagers’ Internet use and their interpersonal communication behavior – most of all, whether Internet use was associated with the teens’ loss of desire for face-to-face communication with family and friends. Also examined was whether any loss of desire for face-to-face communication with family and friends was linked to certain motives for going online. The findings of this study were based on statistical analyses of 405 valid returns of self-administered questionnaires from 657 students of Carbondale Community High School in Carbondale, Illinois, who were selected through a purposive sampling. The results showed that Internet use was significantly correlated with decreases in face-to-face communication with family (r = - .137, p < .01) and with decreases in desire for face-to-face communication with family (r = - .120, p = .01). Most significantly, this study found that Internet use displaces not only the time the teens spent with family, but also their desire for spending time with family.

Young Soo Shim

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