Research Topic

Online Social Communication: Establishing, maintaining, and ending online relationships

About this Research Topic

The development of web 2.0 and mobile technologies over the past decade has made online communication highly-accessible to users. The increase in the number and diversity of social media platforms, instant messaging services, video messaging facilities, and dating introduction apps, has vastly increased the number of communication tools at individuals’ disposal.

As with any tool, the application of these communication methods can lead to the successful instigation and maintenance of relationships, while their misapplication has the potential to cause harm and damage relationships. The range of features offered by different apps available today means that users have the choice of how to present themselves to others. For example; using text, avatars, photos, or video, and how to communicate, e.g., synchronously or asynchronously; openly or anonymously. Research has only begun to scratch the surface of how these tools impact online relationships.

The rapid evolution of online communication tools, and their near-universal availability, has made it impossible for research to keep up with how the features afforded users by new and developing platforms are utilized by users, and how this impacts different types of online relationships. Because mobile devices are ubiquitous and permanently connected, a higher diversity of users are able to take advantage of the technologies on offer.

Compared to a decade ago when Facebook was the stand-alone leader of social networking, there are now many networking apps to choose from. All offer different features and ways of communicating, which may be more or less suited to users with different personalities and characteristics, and which may be more or less suitable to interact with friends and acquaintances online.

This research topic aims to expand knowledge of how these developing technologies are employed by different types of user, and what impact they have at different stages of different types of relationships. Specifically, how specific technologies either facilitate or inhibit the formation, maintenance, and disintegration of relationships online.

We invite submissions which span a range of themes including (but not limited to):

• Examining the determinants of perceived online attraction on dating sites and social media.

• Forming online relationships.

• Online and technology-based relationship maintenance and monitoring.

• Cultural aspects of online relationships.

• Sexting.

• Online technologies and Revenge porn.

• Breaking up online/obsessive relational intrusion on social media and messaging services.


Keywords: online, social, communication, relationships, Establishing, maintaining, ending


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The development of web 2.0 and mobile technologies over the past decade has made online communication highly-accessible to users. The increase in the number and diversity of social media platforms, instant messaging services, video messaging facilities, and dating introduction apps, has vastly increased the number of communication tools at individuals’ disposal.

As with any tool, the application of these communication methods can lead to the successful instigation and maintenance of relationships, while their misapplication has the potential to cause harm and damage relationships. The range of features offered by different apps available today means that users have the choice of how to present themselves to others. For example; using text, avatars, photos, or video, and how to communicate, e.g., synchronously or asynchronously; openly or anonymously. Research has only begun to scratch the surface of how these tools impact online relationships.

The rapid evolution of online communication tools, and their near-universal availability, has made it impossible for research to keep up with how the features afforded users by new and developing platforms are utilized by users, and how this impacts different types of online relationships. Because mobile devices are ubiquitous and permanently connected, a higher diversity of users are able to take advantage of the technologies on offer.

Compared to a decade ago when Facebook was the stand-alone leader of social networking, there are now many networking apps to choose from. All offer different features and ways of communicating, which may be more or less suited to users with different personalities and characteristics, and which may be more or less suitable to interact with friends and acquaintances online.

This research topic aims to expand knowledge of how these developing technologies are employed by different types of user, and what impact they have at different stages of different types of relationships. Specifically, how specific technologies either facilitate or inhibit the formation, maintenance, and disintegration of relationships online.

We invite submissions which span a range of themes including (but not limited to):

• Examining the determinants of perceived online attraction on dating sites and social media.

• Forming online relationships.

• Online and technology-based relationship maintenance and monitoring.

• Cultural aspects of online relationships.

• Sexting.

• Online technologies and Revenge porn.

• Breaking up online/obsessive relational intrusion on social media and messaging services.


Keywords: online, social, communication, relationships, Establishing, maintaining, ending


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

12 January 2021 Abstract
12 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

12 January 2021 Abstract
12 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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