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Australasian Journal of Social Science
  Year: 2018 | Volume: 4 | Issue: 1 | Page No.: 1-14
DOI: 10.3923/aujss.2018.1.14
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Assessment of the Intimacy Levels of the Online Social Interactions in Saudi Arabia
Andaleep Sadi Ades and Siti Zobidah Omar

Background and Objective: The emergence of online social interaction platforms has aided communication and interactions amongst people across the globe. Individuals are forming online friendships and relationships following the offline pattern without the need to physically meet the other party. However, it is noteworthy that the offline patterns on the formation of friendships and relationships vary amongst different communities, which is dependent on the perceptions towards the interactions across genders. Saudi Arabia is characterized with conservatism, with strained interactions between the males and females. This formed the basis of the study as it sought to examine the levels of intimacy in online social interactions amongst the Saudis. Methodology: To achieve the objective, the study integrated social penetration theory (SPT), social information processing (SIP) which is known as Onion theory and the planned behavior (TPB) theories to elucidate the factors that influence online social intimacy and the level of intimacy levels forthwith. The focus of the assessment was on the online identity presentation of users as portrayed by their online behavior and online communication factors and how the factors influence their levels of online social intimacy. The data used in the study was collected using questionnaires from 450 participants aged 18-50 years, who were Facebook users in Saudi Arabia from 18th May-20th August, 2017. The questionnaires used a five-point Likert scale. The study used the structural equation modelling (SEM) to examine the factors. Results: The findings of the model indicated that both behavior and communication factors have a significant positive influence on the online friendships and little influence on the online relationships. The attitude in the behavioral factors and textual in the communication factors were the greatest factors that influenced online friendship. Conclusion: Therefore, the study revealed the existence of both online friendships and relationships amongst the Saudi Arabians, but with only a small number of online relationships due to the Saudi’s conservative culture. Further, it contributed to the development of a more differentiated model in measuring the intimacy in online social interactions.
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How to cite this article:

Andaleep Sadi Ades and Siti Zobidah Omar, 2018. Assessment of the Intimacy Levels of the Online Social Interactions in Saudi Arabia. Australasian Journal of Social Science, 4: 1-14.

DOI: 10.3923/aujss.2018.1.14








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