Are social networking sites good platforms for providing social support?
A critical review of 10 years of research on social support via social networking sites led to the identification of current trends and the development of recommendations to guide future research. Key themes, including the role of social networks as avenues of social support and the dynamic relationship between the two, are examined in an article published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.
Jingbo Meng, Amanda Holmstrom, Minwoong Chung, and Jeff Cox, Michigan State University, and Lourdes Martinez, San Diego State University, CA, coauthored the article entitled, "Research on Social Networking Sites and Social Support from 2004 to 2015: A Narrative Review and Directions for Future Research". Their goal was to collect and analyze the past 10 years of studies covering this topic and for their findings to serve as a starting point for identifying the frontiers of social support in social media research and potential directions for moving it forward in a meaningful and efficient way.
"Social networking sites (SNS) offer users an alternate avenue by which to gain access to social support. In reviewing why patients use SNS, it appears that social support is the main motive for Facebook use, while Twitter usage focuses more on gaining new knowledge and seeking advice," says Editor-in-Chief Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCB, BCN, Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California and Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium.