HCIL-2011-10

Social Networking as a Vehicle to Foster Cross-Cultural Awareness
Walsh, G., Brown, Q., Druin, A., Amos, C.
April 2011
To appear in IDC 2011.
HCIL-2011-10

The growth of online social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, and Linked-In has transformed the way in which individuals establish and maintain relationships for both business and entertainment. In this paper we present the analysis of a similar online social network that was used to foster cross-cultural awareness among users ages 14-17.The social network provided students across the globe with an environment to establish online identities, explore their own culture and the culture of peers who were located in three different countries.We make recommendations to network designers to reconsider friendship metaphors, work within existing network tools, and replace text as the default medium in communication.

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