Electronically Mediated Interpersonal Communication
Our everyday communication involves talking to friends, lovers, family members, acquaintances, co-workers and people in service positions. We do this routinely, usually without much thought, unless some problem occurs or the relationship starts to take a turn for the worse. Then we become painfully aware of the poor communication we have had with another. We've probably all had relationships that slipped away because we couldn't talk to each other or didn't bother to try.
In this chapter we will look at the mundane, yet remarkable, process of dyadic (one-on-one), Electronically Mediated Interpersonal Communication. We'll take a topical approach to the subject of Electronically Mediated Interpersonal Communication, examining a broad array of topics studies done on the subject at hand. We will begin with an examination of cell phone usage processes and then spend time on the role of communication in the formation, maintenance, and dissolution of relationships of all types. You will learn new terms and theories and how they can apply to your own relationships and communication abilities using Electronically Mediated Interpersonal Communication.
Cell phones are becoming an integral part of our daily lives. It is no surprise that a ground breaking study just released says mobile technology has permanently changed the way we work, live, and love. Commissioned by Motorola, this new behavioral study took researchers to nine cities worldwide from New York to London. Using a combination of personal interviews, field studies, and observation, the study identified a variety of behaviors that demonstrate the dramatic impact cell phones are having on the way people interact.
The study found cell phones give people a newfound personal power, enabling unprecedented mobility and allowing them to conduct their business on the go. Interesting enough, gender differences can be found in phone use. Women see their cell phone as a means of expression and social communication, while males tend to use it as an interactive toy. Some men view the cell phone as a status symbol - competing with other males for the most high tech toy and even using the cell phone to seduce the opposite sex. The study found two types of cell phone users- "innies," who use their phones discreetly, and "outies," who are louder and less concerned with the people around them.
The report, titled On the Mobile, has labeled today's teenagers "The Thumb Generation." Cell phones are often used by the younger generation to send text messages by typing with their thumbs on the phone's keypad. Believe it or not, this has had a profound effect on the way teenagers use their thumbs. Thumb dexterity has improved so much that some teenagers now point and even ring doorbells with their thumb instead of their forefinger. The use of these two-way text messaging devices has also resulted in "generation text," a language of abbreviations that is understood by the young all over the world.
Yet cell phones are not just for the young. The cell phone has made long distance communications easy. GSM phones that place calls worldwide have turned the universe into a global village. They are helping people from all generations cross cultural and physical borders. Mobile technology, specifically the use of cell phones, has become an internal part of today's life all around the globe.
Cell phones have become so second nature in our society that the daily answering of your cell phone when having a face to face interaction with a friend, spouse, or acquaintance becomes a first priority (Kelly calls me) and is no longer viewed as an interruption, but rather seen as a status symbol. This is also problematic because it has made our conversations become public for all to hear no longer having those intimate private talks, now anyone who is around you can listen in and become part of our conversations..
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