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'IM Me': Instant Messaging as Relational Maintenance and Everyday Communication
Unformatted Document Text:  Instant Messaging, Page 17 years old (M = 21.24, S. D. = 3.77). Several significant differences emerged between IM and non-IM users based on the data obtained in the first stage. The IM group (M = 19.29, S. D. = 1.21) was significantly younger than the non-IM group (M = 21.55, S. D. = 3.65), t = 7.72, df = 193.89, p < .001. The groups also differed according to their past and current overall Internet use. The IM group reported having used the Internet for a longer period of time (M = 48.80 months, S. D. = 12.40 months) as well as spending more time per average session on-line (M = 35.07 minutes, S. D. = 12.21 minutes), excluding time spent using IM, than their counterparts (period using Internet: M = 40.04 months, S. D. = 14.05 months; length of average session: M = 31.89 minutes, S. D. = 12.67 minutes); both differences were statistically significant (period using Internet, t = 6.61, df = 400, p < .001; length of average session: t = 2.54, df = 400, p < .01). Within the IM group, participants varied in their experience and background using messaging programs. Participants showed considerable variation in the length of time since first using an IM program, ranging from 2 months to 4.5 years (M = 26.72 months, S. D. = 10.72 months). They also reported the amount of time spent interacting via IM for an average 7 day period as between 1 and 17 hours per week (mode = 4 hours, median = 5 hours). Research Question 3 Significant differences emerged in terms of who participants reported interacting regularly with through IM, F (3, 229) = 42.26, p < .001, 2 = .43. During the initial stage of data collection, participants were asked to rate on 7-point scales how regularly (7 = Very) they used IM to interact with acquaintances, friends, best friends, lovers/romantic relationships, and family members. With the exception of family members, participants reported fairly frequent use of IM to maintain several types of relationships. As reflected in Table 1, participants reported

Authors: Ramirez, Artemio. and Broneck, Kathy.
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Instant Messaging, Page 17
years old (M = 21.24, S. D. = 3.77). Several significant differences emerged between IM and
non-IM users based on the data obtained in the first stage. The IM group (M = 19.29, S. D. =
1.21) was significantly younger than the non-IM group (M = 21.55, S. D. = 3.65), t = 7.72, df =
193.89, p < .001. The groups also differed according to their past and current overall Internet
use. The IM group reported having used the Internet for a longer period of time (M = 48.80
months, S. D. = 12.40 months) as well as spending more time per average session on-line (M =
35.07 minutes, S. D. = 12.21 minutes), excluding time spent using IM, than their counterparts
(period using Internet: M = 40.04 months, S. D. = 14.05 months; length of average session: M =
31.89 minutes, S. D. = 12.67 minutes); both differences were statistically significant (period
using Internet, t = 6.61, df = 400, p < .001; length of average session: t = 2.54, df = 400, p <
.01).
Within the IM group, participants varied in their experience and background using messaging
programs. Participants showed considerable variation in the length of time since first using an
IM program, ranging from 2 months to 4.5 years (M = 26.72 months, S. D. = 10.72 months).
They also reported the amount of time spent interacting via IM for an average 7 day period as
between 1 and 17 hours per week (mode = 4 hours, median = 5 hours).
Research Question 3
Significant differences emerged in terms of who participants reported interacting regularly
with through IM, F (3, 229) = 42.26, p < .001,
2
= .43. During the initial stage of data
collection, participants were asked to rate on 7-point scales how regularly (7 = Very) they used
IM to interact with acquaintances, friends, best friends, lovers/romantic relationships, and family
members. With the exception of family members, participants reported fairly frequent use of IM
to maintain several types of relationships. As reflected in Table 1, participants reported


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