Bridging the Digital Divide through Facebook Friendships: A Cross-Cultural Study
Over 80% of Facebook’s 1 billion  users are located outside of the US and Canada, but little is understood of how Facebook is used or impacts the lives of users, especially in collectivistic cultures. We address this question by conducting a comparative study of Facebook users from a collectivist culture, Namibia, and an individualistic culture, the United States. Although our study is continuing, we have identified several areas of difference that illustrate why and how culture influences users’ appropriation of this social network. Specifically, in this paper we examine differences in how friendships are made, maintained, and power relations assigned and discuss the importance of these differences in relation to the cultural context.
This proceeding is from CSCW ’13 Companion, Feb. 23–27, 2013, San Antonio, Texas, USA (2013): 249–254.