Enhancing Family Cohesion through Web-Based Communication: Analysis of Online Communication Practices in Estonian Families

Virge Tamme, Andra Siibak

Abstract


Semi-structured interviews (N=13) with the representatives of three different generations belonging to the same family with Estonian origin where carried out to analyze the reasons for making use of different web-based communication platforms for everyday family interaction, as well as to study the main motivations for communicating online. Furthermore, we also aimed to understand to what extent the family members helped to mediate and shape each other’s online practices. The findings indicate that new media plays enormous role in supporting and partly also re-establishing intergenerational communication. Not only are web-based communication platforms like Skype, instant messenger or Facebook used by family members who are physically apart, but also by family members living under the same roof. Thank to being constantly logged onto to different web-based communication channels, our respondents perceived these platforms to offer the cheapest and most convenient mode for family communication.

Keywords


web-based communication, family, generation, intergenerational relations, Estonia

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15847/obsOBS000581