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The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of online communication on feelings of closeness and relationship satisfaction using an experimental design and to test whether these effects varied based on participants’ attitudes about online communication. Individuals in dating relationships were randomly assigned to two 48-hr conditions: communication as usual or refraining from online communication. Participants who reported that online communication was important for their dating relationships reported lower satisfaction and closeness after decreasing their online communication; there were no between-group differences among participants who reported relatively low importance. Thus, it appears that online communication has a positive effect on relationship satisfaction and feelings of closeness, but only for those who consider online communication to be important.


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