lts gt 2gthr l8r: Text messaging as a relational maintenance tool

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Kentucky Journal of Communication


Communication Studies


The purpose of this study was to expand research in the areas of computer-mediated communication (CMC) and relational maintenance by contributing to a growing, albeit limited, body of research concerning how individuals maintain relationships through computer technologies. Despite the recent emergence of mobile communication technologies, few studies exist that examine how mobile text messaging is used to maintain relationships. Our results indicate that a wide range of individuals report using text messaging as a relational maintenance tool. While participants (N=699) reported using text messaging to maintain their relationships with both friends and romantic partners, they used the create plans and social network strategies with friends more than with romantic partners. Synchronous, or instantaneous, levels of text messaging strongly correlated with the use of text messaging to perform relational maintenance behaviors.