The Effect of Internet Usage on Interpersonal Relationships: A Case Study


  • Susan Bastani Alzahra University
  • Maryam Fazel-Zarandi University of Toronto



Internet users, users' behaviors, interpersonal relationships, Iran


The Internet has become the fastest growing electronic technology in world history. The rapid evolution of any technology naturally raises questions about both its potential benefits and possible negative consequences. One of the main issues of concern is the effect Internet is having on interpersonal relationships. This paper investigates the influence of the Internet on social connections among Internet users in twelve major cities in Iran. The results show that the Internet has not decreased users’ social contacts. Principal components analysis and the k-means clustering technique are applied to unearth the common patterns that exist in the dataset. Our findings show that gender is one of the main factors in distinguishing among users based on the type of their social contacts.

Author Biographies

Susan Bastani, Alzahra University

Dr. Susan Bastani is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences and Economics at Alzahra University. She received a B.A. in Social Sciences and a M.A. in Sociology from Tehran University, and her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Toronto. Her research interests focus on social network analysis, online and off-line communities, and gender issues. Current research includes Iran and the Internet (Iranian Internet Project) which studies how the lives of Iranians are being changed by the emergence of the new technology. Iranian Internet Project is a partner of the World Internet Project.

Maryam Fazel-Zarandi, University of Toronto

Maryam Fazel-Zarandi is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Toronto. She received a B.A.Sc. in Computer Engineering from Sharif University of Technology in 2005, and her M.Sc. in Computer Science from University of Toronto in 2007. Her current research interests include knowledge representation, automated reasoning, design and application of ontologies, and the application of social network analysis in e-commerce.




How to Cite

Bastani, S., & Fazel-Zarandi, M. (2008). The Effect of Internet Usage on Interpersonal Relationships: A Case Study. Observatorio (OBS*), 2(3).