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Relational reconnection is a prominent yet under-explored function of social network sites (SNS) that encompasses both the activation and subsequent maintenance of dormant social ties. The present investigation used two data collections (Study 1, six university samples; Study 2, national United States sample) to explore the characteristics of friends who reconnect using SNS, and attempt to predict whether reconnected relationships persisted beyond the initial reconnection. Results indicated that relational reconnection is extremely common, especially among same-sex friends and individuals who identify as heavy SNS users. Predicted outcome value emerged as the best predictor of persistence beyond initial reconnection, in addition to engaging in modality expansion, being female, and reactivating a relationship with greater perceived development pre-loss-of-contact.

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New Media & Society