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By examining what different participants groups do on social network sites, this paper investigates what Friendship means and how Friendship affects the culture of the sites.I will argue that Friendship helps people write community into being in social network sites.Once on the site, users were encouraged to mark other users as Friends. Friendster expected that these users would list their friends but this was not the norm that took hold among early adopters.
Indeed, friendship itself is culturally dependent and people use the term differently in different cultural communities.
Through these imagined egocentric communities, participants are able to express who they are and locate themselves culturally.
In turn, this provides individuals with a contextual frame through which they can properly socialize with other participants.
In discussing Friendship with both participant and non-participant Americans, it seems as though friendship indicates an exceptionally strong relationship with expectations for emotional and practical support.
In other words, friends are expected to provide a shoulder to cry on, be a partner in crime, and guarantee to bail you out of jail.
The vast majority of my subjects and those that I observed are 14-30; my study of minors only began when I started examining My Space.