Tijdschrift voor Communicatiewetenschap vol:37 issue:4 pages:317-331
Communication technologies are important tools in the lives of college freshmen: they enable freshmen to maintain social relationships with existing friends, while at the same time building new relationships on campus. This article reports the results of a longitudinal survey study among Flemish freshmen (Nwave_3=148). The results indicate that during the freshmen year, the perceived closeness to the freshman’s ‘old’ friends significantly declines, while the perceived closeness to ‘new’ friends increases. The frequency of contacting one’s ‘old’/’new’ friends significantly predicts perceived closeness at the different time points, but it does not have an effect on the rate of change in perceived closeness. Freshman who feel closer to their ‘old’ friends, report also feeling closer to their ‘new’ friends. The frequency of contacting one’s friends and the perceived closeness to them thus seems to be an artefact of the freshman’s sociability.