December 1997


Online Relationships in Couples, Work, and Communities

by Andrea Baker

In doing research on art and censorship, I became fascinated with the developing Communications Decency Act and the attempt to control the internet. Joining a five-week conference held entirely online, I noticed the evolution of professional and interpersonal collaborations among conference participants. A student of mine who had met some people in a game-related chatline decided to help me study the relationships of couples who had met first in cyberspace and then in real life. I would like to add to the literature devoted to online relationships by linking my graduate school specialty area of marriage and the family and my ongoing research preoccupation with the media and social movements.

I seek studies or essays on processes of communication and bonding in friendships formed online, whether through work or social contexts. Of interest are papers looking at, though not limited to, questions such as "How do people communicate emotions and feelings online?", "What types of media are used during the development of relationships?", "What factors influence people to meet offline?", "How do online relationships change lives offline?","How do tone and content of messages influence response in discussion groups?" Please check CMC Magazine Editorial Policies and send inquiries to: by March 10. 1998.

Andrea Baker ( is Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Division of Arts & Sciences at Ohio University in Lancaster, Ohio.

Copyright © 1997 by Andrea Baker. All Rights Reserved.

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