I asked if he could keep an eye on our dogs. I seed an emoticon smiley face in the text. I didn’t worry about a reply; he’s done it many times before. On Saturday when I arrived at the Fort Myers airport, I “checked in” on Backbone and posted the message “flip flops baby! ” On Saturday I posted a picture of my son wearing sunglasses, sitting in our rental, a beautiful Mustang convertible, with the top down. I posted the message “chilling in 80 degree weather”. Sunday morning, we went to a great church and I “checked in” on Backbone and posted the message “loved this church! On Monday, I posted a picture of the pool. On Tuesday, I took a stricture of my son at the beach and posted the picture and the message “Blessed”. Later on, I posted a picture of my husband and son kayaking on the Gulf. My message was “listening to the waves”. On Wednesday, I checked in at Hagen Dads and posted “Fancy, fancy mall and we walk in wearing bathing suits… Looking for ice cream”. My last post of vacation was later that day, I “checked in” at Ron Jon Surf Shop. I received a reply text from my neighbor. He tested me that he “heard they sell salt water daffy in Florida. Later he retracted by stating “his wife says there’s too much alt in TAFN’. Finally on Monday he tested “we have sleet and snow, come home soon. ” I text my neighbor when we go on vacation because there is a lesser chance he will say “no” to caring for our dogs. Since the communication is asynchronous or delayed, he might not send us an answer for a couple of days. I have to be content with waiting for the outcome. This is a little risky, because he might be in the hospital or he might not have his phone to receive the text.
The dogs could be “on their own” in my garage and back yard. Since I use testing to communicate with him, I don’t receive NY non-verbal cues. Non-verbal clues could include gestures, eye contacts, facial expressions, and body language, according to Titanium Named Jib and Meridian Haiti Abdullah (2013). I can’t tell if he’s rolling his eyes about the neighbors who leave their dogs or if he really doesn’t mind checking on them. Since the texts are permanent and time-stamped, he can tell when I have forgotten to tell him we have left town.
When I tested him, I used a smiley face emoticon. Titanium Named Jib and Meridian Hyatt’ Abdullah (2013) claim that emoticons contribute to communication. The Being cautionary defines the word “contribute” as the “part played by something in causing a result”. In other words, it adds to the words in my text. I used the emoticon because I felt uncomfortable with my request. My hope was that it made my request more light-hearted and friendly. If you use the “result” as in the definition, I felt better about asking for his help.
Backbone enables its users to present themselves in an online profile, accumulate “friends” who can post comments on each other’s pages, and view each other’s profiles, Sheldon (2008). In my Backbone posts, I struggle with the expressive- retroactive dialectic described by Tremolo (2008). I didn’t want people to know my house was empty but I did want them to know how much fun I as having. I also had to be careful about my content. I couldn’t tell people that I tried rum from the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and the Honduras, because I attend weekly recovery meetings where I play on the worship team and act in a supporting role.
Some of my “friends” on Backbone are fellow recovery leaders. Others are trying to recover from alcohol and drug abuse. Goslings (2010) states users utilize self-monitoring to gauge what is appropriate or inappropriate information to display on their pages in attempts to represent themselves in likeable ways. It’s best I don’t mention anything alcohol-related. This is an example of where I was selective in what I said. CM is prone to deception. I did not fully disclose about my run. Is this deception or self-monitoring?
In more self-monitoring, I was very careful not to brag about the weather, since everyone I know in Indiana is frustrated with the ongoing snow and frigid temperatures. The weather this winter has been particularly harsh and I can see it in the posts people make on Backbone and Just in normal interpersonal communication. I tried to downplay my experiences because I didn’t want people to feel worse. I especially didn’t want people to be irritated by my posts. CM is written-based and it lacks most non-verbal elements, according to Titanium Named Jib and Meridian Hyatt’ Abdullah (2013).
Since I didn’t have any non-verbal feedback, it was tough to figure out what to say. I rewrote several of my posts, in an effort to make them more appeasable. Goslings (2010) would call this self-presentational behavior. I communicated to satisfy my many different needs. In my text with the neighbor, it was a practical need, to ask for his assistance. When we landed in Florida, my post about flip flops was feeding to my emotional need. I really wanted to shout or Jump up and down, but talking about my flip flops was the only statement I needed to make.
My social needs were met when I posted I had gone to church, since most of my friends are Christian. Maybe I “looked” like a good Christian. In retrospect, the approval of my Backbone “friends” is not really what I seek, but of God, so therefore I failed as a “good Christian”. As with interpersonal communication, my messages went through channels. The physical channels were the phone or pad. The virtual channels were the testing application or Backbone. Unlike interpersonal communication, these messages were asynchronous and were permanent, they physically reside somewhere.
According to Sheldon (2008), the main purpose of social networks is making new friendships or to maintain those that already exist. I was able to maintain my relationships with others. I told them what we were doing. I posted pictures of my family that the rest of the family could view and comment on. It was Just as easy to post to all of my “friends” as it would have been to post to one of my “friends”. It was impel for people who saw my posts to respond, with one click, they could “Like” my post. In summary, I managed to tell part of the truth but not all of it.