Source: The Open University of Israel
The proliferation of digital communication technologies, has led, in recent years, to the expansion of virtual friendship. The present study focuses on the characteristics and experience of friendship among youth from Israeli middle-schools, and its comparison to the traditional, face-to-face friendship. Data were collected, using questionnaires which were distributed among youth.
Findings indicate that virtual friendship is a common phenomenon among youth (one third of the participants have at least one virtual friend) and that it is not restricted to youth with a high "technological affinity". It was found that youth who have a virtual friend, tend to participate less in social activities (e.g. membership in a youth movement). Nevertheless, despite relative prevalence of virtual friendship, virtual friends are usually rated lower than face-to-face friends.