Scientific journal

New Psychological Research

Dubovskaya E.M., Zhernakova D.A. Comparative analysis of the concepts of “real” and “virtual” adolescent friendship

Ekaterina M. Dubovskaya, Ph.D (Psychology), Associate Professor, Psychological Institute of Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, Russia; bld. 9–4, Mokhovaya str., Russia, Moscow, 125009; Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia; bld. 11–9, Mokhovaya str., Russia, Moscow, 125009; Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia; bld. 6, Miusskaya Square, Moscow, Russia, 125993, dubovskaya13@gmail.com
Daria A. Zhernakova, Master (Psychology), Moscow School of Practical Psychology, Moscow, Russia; bld. 34/14, Kutuzovskiy av., Russia, Moscow, dzhernakova@yandex.ru

The article is devoted to the study of adolescent’s modern vision of friendship and friends in the real life and in the cyberspace. In the era of informatization and digitalization, the concept of friendship is filled with new content, which leads not to “impoverishment”, but to the complication of friendship and makes this phenomenon multidimensional. Digital technologies, being commonplace for teenagers, inevitably integrate into their lives and as a result, teenagers solve their social problems, including through Internet technologies. Building interpersonal relationships is no exception. The authors conducted an analysis of the literature, which allowed to formulate the area of study of adolescent friendship that requires more detailed study – the features of adolescent friendship in the real life and in the cyberspace. The aim of the study was a comparative analysis of the characteristics of the phenomena “friendship” and “virtual friendship” in adolescent age. Within the framework of the study, three groups of friends in the cyberspace were identified: real friends with whom a teenager regularly communicates (both in life and online); real friends with whom a teenager has met in life, but for certain reasons cannot communicate regularly; virtual friends – friends in the cyberspace (the teenager has never met them in his real life). According to the results of the study, even those teenagers who have the real life and the cyberspace as a whole, still spend time with their friends from life through correspondence on social networks or online games. The results of the study also showed that the phenomenon of “friendship” and “friendship online” in adolescence are two similar phenomena, but differ from each other in the level of trust in friends online and in life, types of joint activities and characteristics of friends. The presented results suggest that the phenomenon of “friendship” and “friendship online” in adolescence are two similar phenomena, but not identical. It seems likely that online friendship is a type of adolescent communication and relates more to information exchange, while friendship in life is traditionally a type of interpersonal relationship.

Key words: real and virtual friendship, adolescent friendship, ideas about friendship, Internet, online friendship, internet and real space

For citation: Dubovskaya, E.M., Zhernakova, D.A. (2022). Comparative analysis of the concepts of “real” and “virtual” adolescent friendship. New Psychological Research, No. 3, 110–133. DOI: 10.51217/npsyresearch_2022_02_03_06

Acknowledgment

The article prepared within a state task, project FNRE-2021-0001.

keywords: real and virtual friendship, adolescent friendship, ideas about friendship, Internet, online friendship, internet and real space

received 29 September 2022

published 29 September 2022

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