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Contact orbits on Facebook. Intimacy, sociability and friendship in adolescents from popular sectors in Buenos Aires. This article addresses the types of friendship established by teenagers from popular sectors of Buenos Aires on Facebook. At the methodological level, a virtual ethnography and in-depth interviews were carried out. Following the classic conceptualization of Simmelsociability is the playful form of socialization. Now, what does it mean to socialize in Facebook?
Such interactions may include publications with a greater commitment: making comments or affectionate posts. In this sense, they are a privileged channel to understand the different types of contacts that this population deploys in the social network. According to boydadolescent sociability is framed around the Facebook platform. In the same way, it can be thought that friendship unfolds in an analogous context. Thus, the intention is to investigate emerging phenomena.
How specifically are friendship and sociability spread in teenagers from low-income sectors, who have taken this platform as the central space of their online life? In this article, it is postulated that its recurrent expressions in Facebook, which have a different tone from other publications of the network, allow us to approach their practices in a singular way and to know more about them. In this sense, it is chosen as a platform for analysis because it has become the largest social networking website worldwide and one of the central communication and entertainment spaces for contemporary adolescents boyd, ; Morduchowicz, ; Urresti, ; van Dijck, For the studied population, Facebook works in a certain way as a synonym of the Internet, since there they deploy most of their online actions.
This article aims to explore and describe the different types of sociability and friendship links that this population develops in the platform. This research, arising from a doctoral thesis, is exploratory and qualitative: it is based on an unintentional sample of 20 in-depth interviews with adolescents from the popular sectors of the Buenos Aires. In addition, it is based on virtual observations made on the Facebook platform between and The research subject is constructed at the intersection of two variables: age and the social sector.
Here the lower limit of 13 years is taken as the beginning of adolescence, given that it is the average age at which they usually start secondary school, which entails a more active sociability. The age limits are useful for analytical purposes, but adolescence and youth cannot be defined only from the age, as also Margulis and Urresti warn. Regarding the second variable, here it is proposed to study the adolescents from low-income sectors, who were defined according to the type of work and educational level of their parents, and from the lack or possession of basic social services in the neighborhood and housing.
Indeed, the neighborhoods from low-income sectors -especially in marginal settlements- often lack paving, sewage drainage, lighting, sweeping and cleaning; as well as hospitals, schools or police stations. On the other hand, on the basis of data from the National Institute of Statistics and Census [INDEC]parents of adolescents are defined as those who have less than ten years of education and are usually salaried workers of medium or low qualification. The exploratory nature of this work is related to the fact that this digital tool Facebookquickly appropriated by the adolescents from low-income sectors, was available for this population sincewhen its spanish version was created, two years after its international diffusion in English.
To carry out the research, between and a profile created ad hoc in Facebook was maintained: the profile had a picture of an overweight male disguised as Batman and a caricature of Homer Simpson, both obtained through Google images. The age of the profile user was not specified. Those who asked for a message or chat for the identity of the profile were informed about the profession and age of the author.
Only the purposes of the investigation were made explicit to those who requested it by chat or private message. In those cases, the objectives of the research were discussed: to investigate the ways in which young generations present themselves in social networks. It is clarified that the virtual observation was non-participant, in the sense that it did not interact with the contacts of the social network, other than giving a few likes. From the profile I just observed the interaction, the creation of profiles and the posts of the users of the intentional sample.
After four years of observations, hundreds of images and texts collected in a series of relational components were classified, in order to investigate the different degrees of adolescent sociability in Facebook. The shared spaces refer to the co-presidents of the school, the neighborhood, the nightclub, the bar, the shopping center and the soccer field. The stories in common allude to the fact of spending part of their lives in the same spaces. The affectivity is connoted by expressions of affection that are exchanged in the network. As Urrestip. From observing the interactions traversed by this series of elements in common, the following scheme is proposed in which the types of contacts in Facebook are illustrated according to the different degree of intensity.
It should be noted that the proposed are interrelated and refer to changing relationships that vary according to the dynamics of the interactions and the passage of time.
Of the hundreds or thousands of contacts that each adolescent tends to have, the great majority tends to interact in Facebook with only a few tens. First of all, with his intimates, who are usually no more than ten. Secondly, with their daily groups schoolmates and neighborhood peerswhich usually do not exceed The known copresentials of the extended group 3 usually amount to or, at the most, The other contacts are part of the extended group that are not known co-face-to-face that is, they are friends of friends, relatives of friends, acquaintances of acquaintancesor directly strangers with whom contacts are shared.
This shows that, if on average the adolescents in the sample have around 1 contacts, most of them are unknown. The bulk of the interactions unfold with the intimates and with the daily group. Source: Own elaboratio based on field work. Figure 1 Contact orbits around the personal profile.
As has been pointed out, at one extreme, the intimate are those who share in a greater degree the observed elements of shared spaces, common history, affectivity and endurance. At the other end of the proposed categorization, strangers represent the zero point of these elements in common. They usually belong to the same age group and, on numerous occasions, they are even the same age. In many observed publications, adolescents present to the group of intimates with whom they share their daily life and, in turn, present themselves as part of that group that defines and identifies them.
In this way, they honor their best friends, tell them that they love them and are fundamental in their lives. Such publications tend to have a high degree of acceptance and feedback among their network of contacts. They also usually post personal photos with their group of intimates. Although his words do not show a marked affectivity, the closeness of the embraced bodies suggests that they are intimate. In another example there are several personal photos of a teenager with her intimate group.
And then in the week, if we met someone, we followed them on Facebook. As it was revealed in hundreds of images, teens often combine a photo with their best friend or with their intimate group, which is sometimes mixed. In popular areas, in the many cases of conflicting family relationships and lack of resources, the intimate often function as brothers.
In turn, they represent the degree of mutual surrender, in the sense of trusting fully in the other and having nothing to hide. This type of experience deepens the bond and increases the mutual commitment of endurance. Sometimes an excess of confidence and actions on the part of one of those involved in the password exchange triggers a conflict around the privacy of the profile. This link combines elements of relationships between siblings, couples and childhood friends. If both are online, it is expected that they defend each other before conflicting publications. Also, this relationship can be changing and mobile according to the sex-affective cues of each and the conflicts that arose.
She expresses to him that he loves her, that his friendship is more than being friends, that he always trusts her to tell her secrets, thanks that he always listens to her and accepts her as he is. She reminds him never to hesitate to call her and that he will always be with her for anything, regardless of the others. This communication dynamics feeds on the virtual and copresential daily sociability.
In effect, such relationships generate discomfort among various groups of adolescents and adults, who fail to decode them and therefore sometimes question them. These status updates are common among the adolescents in the sample, who display an ironic discourse towards the heteronormative model. In most cases, intimates have a fundamental copresential dimension, which is strengthened by online interaction. In this orbit the following components are present: shared spaces and history in common. Whenever we can, we walk on Face with my friends. At times more than my family.
Then when you put yourself in a couple and form your own family you do not look so much anymore woman, 16 years old, low-income sectors. Likewise, the exchange of likes reveals a central feature in the interaction in Facebook: the overlapping of the playful-voyeuristic activity as a supposedly altruistic gift, with the aim of making each intervention in the network a strategic presentation of oneself. In this line, as developed in another work Linne,the intimacy performances that each user performs can be framed within a premeditated strategy of seeking popularity and social success among their different types of contacts, as well as trying to achieve a satisfying sexafectivity through seducing an audience as wide as possible but controlled through interactions in the network.
The fragments of interviews also provide evidence to the analysis proposed: the daily group builds its bonds of friendship in a constant offline-online continuum. Likewise, this second orbit of contacts performs voyeurism and displays searches of sex-affective relationships in a t way. For the maintenance of these daily relationships between peers, chat, private messages, suggesting contacts and being mentioned in the publications of others are key.
In addition, it is observed that adolescents from low-income sectors usually intensify their interactions by means of Facebook. According to different researches boyd,Morduchowicz,the main reason for adolescents to use Facebook is to be in contact with their intimate and daily friendships.
That is, to extend the time of sociability between peers beyond school time and the copresential meetings in clubs, in the public space, in homes and in other institutions. This orbit, located in an intermediate zone between everyday and unknown people, is made up of known contacts: neighbors, companions and friendships in common.
They tend to be known and have a copresential or pre-existing link to that of Facebook, or copresential references of friendships in common. If the basic function of the unknown contacts, as developed in the next point, is to contribute to personal and site statistics; that of the extended group is constantly feeding the flow of sociability. Extended contacts provide a ificant contribution to sex-affective sociability real, imaginary or potential. This was one of the basic principles taken up by Facebook and placed at the center of its architecture.
Unlike among strangers, among friends-of-friends there is usually a greater degree of common components to generate links. See you at school, we play soccer, we go out, we get together to do tournaments with Play [station] and we chat for Face while we look for girls.
There we advise on the candidates through chat or inbox or when we see each other Male, 17 years old, low-income sectors. To this orbit of contacts are directed the strategies deployed among adolescents of sp to extend sociability. In this orbit, the most extensive of the four proposed here, there tend to be fewer interactions. According to the adolescents surveyed, in order to add a contact to this orbit, the main requirement is to share common contacts. I accept strangers when I want to add friends.
I already have 1 Total later, if they bother a lot, I erase them. Sometimes some publish things that are good Male, 18 years old, low-income sectors. I do not accept anyone unknown. Only friends and sometimes friends of friends. But I have to know well who are friends. I heard from people those who persecuted or robbed them for accepting strangers Woman, 14 years old, low-income sectors. It also serves to extend the network, exchange resources and comments to add popularity, as well as to have more possibilities of friendships and sex-affective ties. It is worth remembering that, according to the architecture of the site, the maximum of contacts allowed is 5 It is common for teenagers to update their states complaining that they have hundreds of online contacts available to chat and none of them communicate with it or she.
On the other hand, the sample shows that those who most add strangers are singles, who usually look for potential sex-affective bonds. This need for feedback implies the constant search for new contacts in order to obtain a high of likes and comments in their publications.
At the component level, they only have in common a shared space, that of Facebook. This article addresses the types of friendship established by teenagers from Buenos Aires popular sectors on Facebook. Among their main contributions is empirical evidence to argue that they do not build a homogenous and indiscriminate friendship in the social network, but they know how to distinguish between different types of friendship.
However, this does not eliminate the various conflicts: from jealousy and monitoring to popularity competitions. In the ecosystem of like and constant feedback, different tensions occur around sexaffectivity and the search for social recognition.
Why did not he answer me? Why, being male, I can not have a better female friend? The virtual ethnography had two main stages. In the first place, an ad hoc profile was managed in Facebook and components common to the friendships managed by this group of adolescents were explored. Well, no, a dozen friends and a large space to experience the identity construction itself in different orbits of contacts.
At the same time, it implies a more accurate representation that for teenagers from low-income sectors not all friendships in Facebook mean the same thing. Indeed, as described throughout the article, they clearly distinguish the different types of links they have among their network of contacts. Alabarces, P. Resistencias y mediaciones: estudios sobre cultura popular.
Perspetivas dos adolescentes sobre o uso do Facebook: um estudo qualitativo.Iso friendship sex
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