FRIENDSHIP PATTERNS AMONG MALAYSIAN YOUTH IN THE DIGITAL ERA
Individuals across Southeast Asia are demonstrating a high adoption rate to technology. With the rise of online communities, communication has shifted away from traditional face-to-face models of interaction, to a digital approach to maintaining and establishing relationships. This article reports on a research aimed to investigate the type of exchanges via these platforms and how Malaysian youths create and maintain their social circles. Data was obtained using a questionnaire survey and interviews. Findings suggest that these youths were highly motivated to use social networking sites for socializing, keeping abreast with global issues and for academic purposes. Although the negative outcomes of socialism online are not very significant in this study, the relevant parties should monitor youths’ use of information technology to ensure Malaysian youths have a healthy social lifestyle as well as to promote their positive development.
Keywords: Friendship Patterns, Social Networking Sites, Youth, Development, Behavior