Honors Program Theses


Honors Program Thesis (UNI Access Only)

First Advisor

Marybeth C. Stalp


Social media--Social aspects; Interpersonal relations--Technological innovations;


This project involves investigating how contemporary college students interact and use Social Media (SM) to facilitate the interpersonal relationships they engage in within the college environment. SM can be broadly described as multitudes of technological highways that allow for nearly unlimited communication, in which individuals come together to share personal content, ideas, and thoughts. In order to conduct this investigation, I used qualitative methodology, specifically three focus groups with 15 students to develop a better understanding of the role of SM in the interpersonal relationships of college students. It was discovered that SM, while not the primary actor in interpersonal relationships, plays a significant role in the interaction witnessed among college students. Findings indicate that “creeping” on someone else in SM is important, as is developing reciprocal etiquette, and maintaining a respectable frequency level of SM use. Overall, SM is a potent ingredient in the symbolization of a relationship’s legitimacy among contemporary college students, and it provokes behavior in technological environments that differs from what is displayed in reality, and having a more developed sense SM use translates to more fluid interpersonal interaction.

Year of Submission



Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (ix, 48 pages)



File Format


Off-Campus Download