Virtual goodbyes aren’t easy

Abstract from Michelle M. Kazmer’s Beyond C U L8R: disengaging from online social worlds in the journal, New Media & Society

People who work, learn, or play in online social worlds must sometimes leave those social worlds. Such departures may happen for many reasons. Often they are anticipated departures because the social world was meant from the start to be temporary. Most people do not yet have much practice at leaving an online social world, nor do we have a good model of the process. Activities that people undertake while disengaging from transient online social worlds affect them personally, as well as their future personal and professional relationships with one another. For this research, 30 students near the time of graduating from an online learning master’s degree program participated in semi-structured interviews exploring their activities and emotions related to disengaging. The result is a model of the disengaging process encompassing 12 dimensions.

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Filed under Connection/Isolation, Technology, our Mirror, Virtual Communities

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