Internet Communication Case Study
Communication is mediated on the Internet thru social networking, email, texting, and online dating. According to Wikipedia.org,”computer-mediated communication (CMC) is defined as any communication that occurs through the use of two or more electronic devices.” While on vacation, I wanted to see how many of my behaviors of CMC I could identify, based on my readings and learning in COM 316.
Before I left for Florida, I texted the neighbor and told him we were leaving early Saturday and would return Wednesday. I asked if he could keep an eye on our dogs. I used 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 Facebook 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 Facebook and posted the message “loved this church!” On Monday, I posted a picture of the pool. On Tuesday, I took a picture 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 Haagen Dazs 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 texted me that he “heard they sell salt water taffy in Florida.” Later he retracted by stating “his wife says there’s too much salt in taffy”. Finally on Monday he texted “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 texting to communicate with him, I don’t receive any non-verbal cues. Non-verbal clues could include gestures, eye contacts, facial expressions, and body language, according to Tanimu Ahmed Jibril and Mardziah Hayati 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 texted him, I used a smiley face emoticon. Tanimu Ahmed Jibril and Mardziah Hayati Abdullah (2013) claim that emoticons contribute to communication. The Bing dictionary 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.
Facebook 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 Facebook posts, I struggle with the expressive-protective dialectic described by
Trenholm (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...
Cited: Article 9 (2010): 1-30. Print.
Jibril, Tanimu Ahmed, and Mardziah Hayati Abdullah. "Relevance of Emoticons in ComputerMediated Communication Contexts: An Overview." Asian Social Science 9.4 (2013):
20.2 (2008): 67-75. Print.
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