CMN 120 Lecture 8: CMN 120 - Lecture 8 Notes + Reading Notes

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8 Mar 2017
Lecture 8 - 2/15 Relationship Development in New Technologies
I.What is computer mediated communication?
A. Two dichotomous schools of thought
1. Internet is impossible to create relationships, going to be
impersonal and not intimate
2. Internet is a tool for relationship development, can enhance
B. CMC = communication that occurs through the use of electronic devices
a. Not face to face; mediated through another channel
b. Devices can include (not limited to): telephone, texting, email, Skype,
Facebook, blogs, snapchat, hand written letters, etc
2. Joseph Walther = “the most interesting aspect of the advent
of CMC is how it reveals basic elements of interpersonal
communication, bringing into focus fundamental processes
that occur as people meet and develop relationships relying
on typed messages as the primary mechanism for
. Author of the 3 of the 4 CMC theories
a. CMC fundamentally same as interpersonal cmc basically reveals basic
elements of interpersonal cmn
3. CMC has affordances
. Affordances = characteristics of CMC (Ex: texting/emailing) that
provides us opportunities that would not normally be available in Face to Face
1. new advantages of CMC
2. People can use affordances to enhance
relational outcome
a. technologies provide ppl additional opportunities when communicating
with others
b. help create perceptions of how to strategically use the technology when
c. Types of Affordances (SEVEN)
1. Limited social cues = less contexts like
clothes or gestures or eye contact
a. Number of cues we have available to us in CMC is less than number of
cues in FtF
2. Editability = most CMC you can edit/revise
and think what you want to say before sending
3. Time Availability (Asynchronous) =
response latency (time between messages)
can be more lengthy/wider, not as immediate
as face to face
. Even FT is more semi-synchronous
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4. Cognitive Reallocation = we can focus
exclusively on CMC messages such as what
to write
. however in Face to Face we have to juggle focusing on our words,
context, etc. (takes away from our cognition/thought)
5. Visibility = behaviors that are usually not seen
in F2F are now more viewable
. we can make things more apparent than in F2F (Ex: what we post on FB
or Snapchat made our behavior visible and public) our behaviors much more
visible; only visible to those who experience with you
6. Persistence = everything that we create
through CMC lasts forever, what you post is
permanent (also called Reviewability and
. Ex: What you post on FB lasts forever; can’t go back & delete once it’s
sent too (Ex: screenshots)
7. Expectation for Response = different
mediated channels have different
expectations for responses
. Some channels have high expectations, we expect someone to reply! (Ex:
FT, texting, FtF) Other channels we think we wont.
a. Sending to one person vs sending to multiple is lower expectation
response (FB, Twitter)
b. Sending to one person is higher expectation for response than a
mass message (Text, FT)
c. Brunner does research on this affordance
II.Competing theories of CMC and relationship formation
. Social Presence Theory (Short et al, 1976)
1. Offers a linear explanation for the effects of reduced cues on
interpersonal interaction
2. Proposes that a central component of all interactions is the
extent to which one’s partner is perceived as salient
(quality or state of being there; social presence) by the
communication, and this is called social presence
3. Assumptions (FOUR)
. Communication media vary in their degree of social presence
1. How important/connected you feel during the
2. Channels may have low, moderate, or high
a. These variations of media determine the ways individuals interact
1. Presence we experience predicts/changes how
we choose to communicate with others
b. Users of a given media are aware of the social presence provided by
that media
c. Users avoid media for some types of interactions
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