Interpersonal Boundary Regulation in the Context of Social Network Services
Interpersonal boundary regulation constitutes of the efforts needed to ‘make the world work’ – that is, for people to achieve contextually desirable degrees of social interaction and to build and sustain their relations with others and with the self. This dissertation builds on five empirical studies that capture aspects of how young adults in Finland are navigating the transition to an ever more networked world in our culturally and historically specific moment. While the widespread adoption of social network services disrupts central premises of interpersonal boundary regulation on which people are used to relying, I argue that interpersonal boundary regulation is best understood as a co-operative process also in our networked age. In fact, social network services may even amplify the importance of co-operative boundary regulation and increase awareness of the necessary efforts. The findings of this work highlight the importance that users of social network services place on mutual consideration when boundary regulation is involved. Moreover, they illustrate how boundary regulation efforts are a holistic endeavour that spans interaction in online and offline settings. The work calls for reconsidering privacy in the networked age beyond the individual level and across the many online and offline settings in which people come together.