This meant great change in different areas, offering possibilities in interactivity like never before. Humans are known to be social beings, thus being quite dependent on communication and interaction (Trauma Specialists, www. Traumatized. Co. UK, 2007). Consequently, this statement indicates, that this proves to be a relevant topic for this research. As today’s modern world has gotten used to having CM as an everyday communication medium, it suggests that this could be a great opportunity to look into the impacts of Computer Mediated Communications.
This dissertation will examine Page | 3 hose impacts in the working relationship as well as CM contribution to what is known as globalization. It will focus on understanding the reasons behind computer mediated communication’s success and how its level of dominance affects its users. As a result, we will explore the differences and similarities between traditional (e. G. Face-to-Face) and modern technology based communication mediums in terms of richness, availability, flexibility, usability and other contributing factors. It will focus on the unique characteristics of the Electronic Mail (E-Mail), Text-messaging and the World Wide Web.
The study will further examine the effects of social cues and classification in relationship development, performance, productivity, trust and domination in different communication mediums. In addition, this dissertation will provide a case study, helping to determine the most popular communication mediums in today’s and previous generations, which will allow us to grasp on whether computer mediated communications fulfilled its expectations as a, as Burnett and Marshall (2003) refers to it, future paradise platform’. Internet When the first commercial computer (See Figure 1) was presented in 1951 (Yale-New
Haven Teachers Institute, www. Yale. Deed, 2013), nobody really knew how important it will be in our daily lives. With every new development it became more powerful, flexible and accessible to wider audiences, thus becoming more influential and significant. According to Gung, Picador and Tosses (2008), all technological advancements allowing development of new products and services, can be referred as ‘distillation’. One of Figure 1 LEO l: The first commercial computer. (Science & Society Picture Library) the most significant products of Page | 4 though the invention of the Internet began in 1962, it was standardized only in 1982.
In addition, its commercial use was introduced only in 1990 (Liner et al, 2012), which was the point where it revolutionized communication as we know it. It introduced instant messaging, electronic mail, online phone and video interactions. Not only did it change communication, it has also given us the World Wide Web with bolos, forums, social networks, online shops and many other features. As a consequence, the computer became our connection to the world, because it is a source of information as well as an entertainment device, a production tool and most importantly – a communications portal.
As Gung, Picador and Tosses (2008) states, the reason why the internet is so remarkable is its speed integrated as a part of everyday life. Indeed, what started out as a method to transfer a short message from one computer to another has developed into something people use around the world every day for a lot of different reasons. To name a few, it is a great resource of information, giving access to various educational materials, publications and documentaries. This leads to Internet being widely used in schools and universities for research and educational purposes.
Also, it provides a wide range of different revise, such as internet banking, online shopping, hotel reservations and many more. What is more, they are available 24 hours a day – 7 days a week. Next, a big reason to its success is that Internet is a low cost source for advertising, figuring as a tool for increasing awareness, expanding businesses as well as personal entertainment and communication. All of this presents the idea that the Internet makes the public more active and engaged, which encourages truer and greater democracy (Burnett, Marshall, 2003, p. 8).
Nonetheless, this points out that the Internet has the ability to have a darker side to it as well. The ease of access to arioso information means that people, especially children, can be exposed to inappropriate material and experiences, such as false language, harassment, disturbing imagery or pornography. This also makes way for controversial sites to present their ideas, which normally would be deemed by the majority of the public. As an example, sites preaching Neo-Nazism or the activities and beliefs of the UK Klux Klan are Just a few illustrations in a midst of other similar sites.
While many people suggest that such websites should not be legal, the emphasis on democracy and freedom of speech lead to the sites being widely accessible for the majority of internet users despite raised concerns. With that in mind, from a student’s point of view, the fact that anyone can post different information and ideas online raises Page 15 questions of its quality and reliability. Not only that, the masses of data that surround us can result in the inability for the person to filter through that information from what is relevant and irrelevant.
At the same time, privacy and theft of personal information is becoming a widely discussed issue as well, as electronic messages can easily be traced and tracked, revealing the locations of the messages and its content. Similarly, by providing personal information for online transactions, ‘stolen’. Nonetheless, the Internet has become a crucial part of our everyday lives in spite of the fact, that originally it was not designed for mainstream dominance (Strain, 2009, p. 7). In contrast, its unexpectedness and ability to develop quietly naturally became the critical factors of it becoming a global success.
From birth, human beings want to see the faces, hear the voices, and feel the touch of other humans. We are considered as social animals and our brains are built to connect with each other (Brooks, 2011). Therefore, positive social interaction with there humans is highly important for healthy and normal development. Firstly, we communicate in order to express different emotions, such as Joy, disappointment, fear, sorrow, etc. This type of communication is of high importance, because according to Trauma Specialists (www. Traumatized. Co. K, 2007), the lack of social interaction can easily lead to health problems, such as stress, high blood pressure, bad sleep quality and many other disorders. Doctor Monoclinic, Director of the Institute for Mind and Biology, found that rats living in groups lived 40% longer than those housed by themselves. Additionally, they have also recovered from different illnesses more quickly. This leads us to believe that good social interaction is key for healthy and quality living. Indeed, we communicate not only to express our emotions, but also to seek or provide information.
Asking and answering questions, announcing different news and updates are all key parts in using communication as a medium to Page | 6 exchange basic information. Above all, one of the most popular and key uses of communication is to persuade. We present our views and ideas to the audience in a way, that would be most pleasing and attractive, thus persuading people to buy, use, tote or take any other sort of action as a consequence. Overall, it can be seen that every aspect of human communication has a strong impact on our lives.
One of the most terrible things we can do to people is to exclude them from society, hence prison being the ultimate punishment. Therefore, evolution has led to finding new ways to implement technology in improving communication between people all over the world. 3. 2 Computer mediated communications Many forms, such as computer conferencing, e-mail, online chat, database utilities, multimedia and Web-based environments, are mediated through technology (Burnett, Marshall, 2003, p. 5) and are characterized as a phenomenon known as computer mediated communications.
Even before the Internet’s availability for public use, such communication mediums like telephone, postal mail and fax, which was used as a digital platform for data transaction at that time, have started to supersede a significant influence because of its ability to send text and image based information globally and rapidly. However, the invention of the Internet has offered even more ways for people to quickly and diversely connect with each other. This particular phenomenon has become as a starting point of a new era, which we now know as the digital age’.
As a result, it had, and still has, the potential to greatly change our culture through its influence in changing interactivity as we know it (Chattels, 2000, p. 357). Page | 7 3. 3 Text messaging Text messaging, which is also considered as a CM format, was first introduced in sass’s and was one of the first computer mediated communication platforms. Nonetheless, people became aware of the benefits of the SMS (Short Messaging System) only around 1999, when phone companies greatly increased the publicity of the service (Taylor, 2007, p. 28).
The most contributing factor to SMS success was that it as considerably cheaper than regular phone calls, which is why it was mostly used by young people Figure 2 Text-Messaging: abbreviations of words. (Cattail Ring) and teenagers. As other technologies developed and started creating their identity and purpose, it turned out that SMS did not have the features to become a professional tool of communication. A significant reason for that was that an SMS message only allows 160 characters in one message. This restriction caused abbreviations of words and sentences, which led to words becoming a combination of single letters and numbers (e. . ‘see you eater’ would turn into ‘c u ere’). As Taylor (2007) noticed, text messaging was mostly used between friends, with whom face-to-face contact is relatively frequent. As a result, miscommunication in this case rarely occurs. However, if it would to be used in a professional field, it would most likely be considered as inappropriate and too personal. Nonetheless, even though SMS was overshadowed by other digital communication mediums, such as e-mail, it has still kept its popularity and wide usability between particular audiences. 3. 4 E-mail Alternatively to text messaging, one of the most popular forms of communication Mail).
It is a form of human communication using a computer and internet network, allowing people to combine numerous different media in a single message when conversing (Lee Change Mean, 2010, p. 41). As a result, it enables users to be active and engage in a two-way communication, increasing efficiency and productivity. By using CM a person is reachable wherever he is: at a house, hotel, office, freeway or mall. At this point, the place does not matter anymore, only the person does. Hence, the person has become like a portal and the problems created by time and space are eliminated.
Messages sent through e-mail have become richer than fax or text essaying mostly because it holds the ability to include different types of media, such as photos, video, music, etc. In one message, which can be sent in a matter of seconds from one part of the world to the other. Also, new emerging technologies and updates allow e-mail messaging to be even more diverse, flexible and interactive. People are now able to send HTML emails containing codes to access large sized files, which are stored externally rather than included in the e-mail.
This type of flexibility introduced e-mail as being more than Just a messaging platform, allowing different genuineness, especially the ones in the creative field, use e-mail as a form of advertising or a short promotional portfolio (Ambrose, Harris, 2009, p. 144). Additionally, video files can be linked to such websites like Youth, Vomit and audio tracks can be stored on such websites like Concluded or Greenshank, leading to reduction in the message sizes and prevention of messages being blocked by computer firewalls (Ambrose, Harris, 2009, p. 44), therefore making CM a very tempting form of communication in both workplaces and personal communications. Just like any other technological change, the invention of computer mediated miscommunication was exciting as well as destructive, confusing and life altering. It required people to be trusting, open-minded and adaptive in order for it to become such a dominant form of communication. CM holds all the basic aspects that define communication – a sender, a message, a channel and a receiver (Burnett, Marshall, 2003, p. 47), yet it still managed to impact the way we communicate like never before.
According to Carrion (2007), e-mail – the Internet’s original key use, offers unique characteristics. The most fundamental being rapid message transmission with the ability of the individual not needing to be physically present. This allows a Page | 9 person to be more intuitive and spontaneous in his messaging. In addition, the sent/ received messages are stored in databases which makes it available for the user to re-examine conversations, negotiations, offers, etc. With time to think, reflect, strategies and plan before responding.
This gives an opportunity to create the best available answer which would most likely lead to better results in the future. Moreover, from a receiver’s point of view, one of the greatest features of an e-mail is that the message is received without you being interrupted, giving you the luxury of heckling the messages at the most convenient time. Also, we cannot ignore the fact that this type of communication creates greater anonymity simply because a person’s gender, race, rank, physical appearance and other features of public identity are not like stereotyping, racism, sexism, fear of public speaking and other disorders.
Hence, we can assume that the receiver of the message is more concentrated on the content that is presented rather than the sender himself. Because of these values, e-mail has become the primary source of communication in the workplace (Taylor, APS, 2007, p. 0) and is also becoming the primary source of personal communication (Taylor, Rosenberg, 2007, p. 30). The sudden explosion of computer mediated communications raised concerns as much as it raised excitement. It appears that over time, such technologies might be changing the very nature of communication (Taylor, 2007, p. 6). As mentioned before, electronic messages do not present the social cues of the sender (tone of voice, posture, dress, facial expressions, etc. ), which leads to the message not being as rich and personal as it would be in other forms of communication. According to Sheehan, Mira and Mad (2008), social cues play a big role in sending the right message, hence explaining the famous saying “Actions speak louder than words! “. They can help show whether the message is negative or positive, express passion or apathy, stress importance or insignificance.
A person has to learn how to digitally express emotions, which, apart from the use of emoticons, is very difficult. Also, without the human contact, it is easy to start diversification and address the computer rather than the person. Therefore, electronic messages can be easily misinterpreted causing confusion, miscommunication and eventually conflict. What is more, the reduction of length, complexity and novelty of arguments presented Page | 10 through computer mediated communications compared to face-to-face communication might be an additional issue as well.
Taylor (2007) states, that people have a great desire for social contact, which led to e-mails being used not only for communication, but also for conversation. Even though electronic messages excel in communicating, it struggles to maintain an ongoing conversation, which makes it difficult for it to achieve the characteristics of a good conversation. The messages become less personal, without relevant background or emotion – only a dry exchange of information.
In order to try and keep an ongoing conversation, a person would have to regularly check for received messages, which might lead to it becoming disruptive to task performance and consistent work flow. CM is a great medium, which gives an easier and more efficient way of reaching out to other people, but we must not forget, however, that in this information filled age, human contact is especially important in order to avoid becoming depredations and authenticated. 4. 0 Face-to-face versus CM
Face-to-face conversations are still the most common form of one-to-one communication (Burnett, Marshall, 2003, p. 47). However, the increased number of different communication mediums, plus a high number of other factors, is leading to other contemporary multimedia, messages were plain, simple and mostly only teased. As a result, face-to-face communication form was a lot more exciting, entertaining and appealing. This may be due to the ability to express their feelings and emotions more easily and freely than in a text-based form.
Nonetheless, computer mediated communications’ flexibility nowadays allowed a combination of numerous media to be incorporated in a single message, which makes it more active and engaging than before. Now, a person is able to express his emotions and feelings through additional media added within the message, such as photos, video, emoticons, etc. Leading to one of the most significant effects of this type of message Page | 11 flexibility, which is allowing a person to manipulate its personal presentation.
Sheehan, Mira and Mad (2008) suggest that such communication technologies like email or online chat hide the sender’s characteristics. This implies that the sender can come anonymous and has the ability to present himself however he desires. By using the different media within a message, a person can use a manipulated personal photo as well as expressing emotions which he does not necessarily feel with the use of emoticons. As a result, a person creates a new identity and will most likely try to avoid being discovered, thus avoiding face-to-face contact.
Such phenomenon is raising concerns about the quality of modern communication between people. Face-to-face is still considered to be the richest communication medium, where such mediums like e-mail or online chat fall into the bottom of the nine in terms of its richness (Sheehan, Mira, Mad, 2008, p. 695). When people start avoiding face-to-face communication, they lose a great deal of characteristics necessary for a good conversation. Friedman and Accrual (2003) have determined which characteristics are crucial for a rich and beneficial conversation between two parties and used a term ‘grounding’ to explain it.
These characteristics fall into 6 categories. The first attribute of grounding is co-presence. By allowing both parties to be in the same environment, it makes it easier to understand each other due to the ability to see what is being done or shown. This leads to the second attribute, which is visibility. Visibility allows each party to see each other without being able to see their surroundings, which is very common in face-to-face or video chat communication platforms.
Furthermore, audibility is a crucial part of grounding, because the ability to hear the timing of speech as well as the other person’s intonation makes it easier for the parties to express their emotions and feelings. Additionally, utterance plays a big role in expressing the right emotion as an audible tool, which is why communication through telephone is still highly used and valued. Finally, simultaneity and sequentially are inevitable, allowing the turn-taking in a conversation to not get out of sequence and the messages to be sent and received at the same time.
All of these attributes are most commonly seen in face-to-face or telephone communication mediums only (Friedman, Curial, 2003). E-mail, on the other hand, has none of these features, thus making face-to-face communication still the richest and most commonly used medium in personal relationships today. This may not, however, be the case in a working relationship. The unique characteristics of e-mail makes it highly effective and, therefore, popular n different organizations. Rapid information transfer, anonymity and nonexistence of time and space all contribute to its success in the working environment.
First of all, decision making quality is increased through CM due to decreased pressure of one’s social status, visual appearance or other characteristics of the sender (Aboard, 1997). The decreased number of triggers affecting a person’s ability of clear thinking leads to the decisions being made without any unwanted interruptions. This is highly useful for people who are easily affected by their surroundings and are suffering from social phobia. These factors allow us to assume that the status differences are reduced, which makes way for greater equality and participation in the workplace.
Yet another contributing factor is that the messages sent by e-mail are less frequent than they would be in a face-to-face interaction, leading to them being more straight forward and task-oriented (Aboard, 1997). This also allows more time to provide a well-thought through response, raising the quality of the conversation. What is more, this reduces the number of diverse opinions and arguments which encourages a more consistent and efficient workflow. As a result, its effectiveness is felt in the area of negotiation as well.
Negotiations through CM can be done through Synchronous or Asynchronous communication. Even though both synchronous and asynchronous CM are text-based, there are still a couple of critical differences between them. Synchronous communication is more demonstrating, making the exchange of messages instant, which makes it more similar to face-to-face communication (Kited, 2006). Due to the instantiating of interaction, the speech becomes less formal as well, leading to it being less professional.