Theses Doctoral

Virtual Relationship Management in Social Media

He, Daniel

The desire for social connectedness affects the way consumers live and make decisions. While social media has expanded the size and reach of social networks, people paradoxically feel less connected with the friends and acquaintances they communicate with online. This occurs because compared to face-to-face communication, digital communication is relatively impoverished and lacks the same level of richness, immediacy, and feeling of presence. Although social media platforms have sought technological solutions to enrich interpersonal communication, I propose and find that without having to transmit more and richer content, virtual relationships can be managed and strengthened through different presentation format (i.e., ephemeral communication vs. permanent communication) and channels of communication (i.e., public messaging vs. private messaging). First, under settings that are disruptive to communication, ephemerality, which is the quality of transience and disappearance causes consumers become more immersed and in the (“present”) moment, which produces interrelated consequences of being present that are beneficial to virtual relationship management. Second, when their behaviors are publically observable, consumers strategically signal information about their relationship in order to strengthen their tie with close others. Although abundant research has focused on consumers’ individual behaviors on social media, an understanding of the antecedents and consequences of interpersonal behaviors is lacking. To fill this gap, my dissertation introduces and investigates the implications of virtual relationship management in social media.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Kivetz, Ran
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 27, 2017