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Interpersonal Relationships Development and Impression Management Online before IRL Encounters in an EBSN

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Abstract

This study explores the role of computer-mediated communication in intimate relationship development through Event-Based Social Network (EBSN), which are platforms where people can interact online before meeting "in real life" (IRL) for face-to-face group activities (Ricken et al., 2017). In communication studies, the modality switching of communication has been identified as an important factor in relationship development (Ramirez & Wang, 2008). However, few researches has explored the relation between modality switching on EBSN, relationship development, online communication activities and impression management. We conducted a content analysis on the French EBSN "OnVaSortir" (OVS) in order to explore how the users manage their impression online through their profiles and interactions in the comments section before and after face-to-face meetings. CONCLUSION On this EBSN, users don't seem to use the platform to develop social links but mainly for the event coordination. The self-disclosure and the impression management are important factors for relationships development (Altman & Taylor, 1973 ; Hu, Zhao & Huang, 2015). However, our results show that the occupied status (the "role") seems to be a determining factor in the choice of the strategy to adopt in order to develop interpersonal relationships. Organizers' strategy consists in reducing the uncertainties of potential participants through their profile and interactions (e. g., provide relevant information for a successful coordination). Participants' strategy consists in collecting information about people and events first and then self-disclose after the first face-to-face meeting in order to maintain the new social bonds. As we know that OVS is a way to create relationships (Pharabod, 2017), our future researches need to explore if EBSN user's use another online medium to develop interpersonal relationships and determine whether IRL events are the only way for this population to develop relationships.
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Dates and versions

hal-03542082 , version 1 (25-01-2022)

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  • HAL Id : hal-03542082 , version 1

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Corentin Massonneau, Nadia Gauducheau, Matthieu Tixier. Interpersonal Relationships Development and Impression Management Online before IRL Encounters in an EBSN. 32nd International Congress of Psychology, Jul 2021, Prague, France. ⟨hal-03542082⟩
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