Document Type

Contribution to Book

Publication Date



The widespread use of social networking websites (SNSs) is one of the most groundbreaking communication trends to emerge in recent years. Since its creation in 2004, sites such as Facebook have become immensely popular among college students. Many SNSs continue to experience exponential growth. Facebook, for example, reached 100 million active users in August 2008 and proceeded to quadruple this membership base to surpass 400 million active users by July 2010 ( In addition to maintaining astronomically high membership rates, SNSs also appear to be part of user's daily schedules. In one study assessing Facebook use, Ellison, Heino, and Gibbs (2006) found that participants reported using the site an average of 10 to 30 minutes each day, with 21% of participants spending more than an hour on the site every day. As a result, high membership and usage rates suggest SNSs hold significant power as a relational and social tool for users.


Kevin B. Wright & Lynne M. Webb


Peter Lang


New York



Publication Information

Computer-Mediated Communication in Personal Relationships