Modelling Digital Habitus: The relationship between the internet and the density and duration of friendship ties

  • Richard Harper
  • Lynne Hamill
  • Nigel Gilbert

MSR-TR-2013-67 |

This paper reports the use of agent-based modelling to explore the impact of the internet on the density and duration of friendship. It uses data from the pre-internet era to validate a model that is then used to compare the dynamic process of friendship with and without the internet. It concludes that the internet is likely to increase the stability of social ties. The paper also affirms the importance of examining the dynamics of social processes, and the usefulness of agent-based modelling as a technique for investigating processual phenomena.