Abstract - The Information Society 28(2)

Teenagers’ Experiences with Social Network Sites: Relationships toBridging and Bonding Social Capital


June Ahn

Many studies have examined the relationship between social network sites (SNSs) and the development of social capital. However, most studies to date have only considered college and adult populations. This study examines the patterns of SNS use in an urban, teenage sample in the United States. It tests the hypothesis that use of SNSs is related to higher levels of social capital. The results show that youth who use Facebook and Myspace report higher social capital in both their school and online relationships. In addition the analysis suggests that distinct modes of SNS experiences are differentially related to bridging and bonding social capital. Time spent in SNSs is related to bridging capital while positive or negative experiences are related to bonding capital. The study offers new insights into how youth experience SNSs and its relationship with their connection to the world.


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