Benefits of Internet use in supporting rural life : managing social networks and exchanging social support in a rural area
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The purpose of this study was (1) to examine rural residents’ perceived social support from Internet use for communication and (2) to understand the meanings associated with rural Internet users’ social media use, particularly with respect to mediating diverse social ties and exchanging different types of social support. To assess how Internet use affects rural residents’ sense of social support, this study investigated dynamic relationships between online communication and perceived social support by looking at interaction effects relative to extroversion, size of social networks, broadband use, and length of time using the Internet. To explore how social media are situated in a rural area, the present study investigated how rural residents use social network sites (SNSs) to maintain social contacts and exchange social support with members of their networks.
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