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Interpersonal Communication on the Internet. Chapter 8 Human Communication on the Internet Shedletsky & Aitken. How does the Internet affect interpersonal relationships?. Creating interpersonal relationships online; Feeling part of a community online;. Interpersonal Dynamics Online. Speed;

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interpersonal communication on the internet

Interpersonal Communication on the Internet

Chapter 8

Human Communication on the Internet

Shedletsky & Aitken

how does the internet affect interpersonal relationships
How does the Internet affect interpersonal relationships?
  • Creating interpersonal relationships online;
  • Feeling part of a community online;
interpersonal dynamics online
Interpersonal Dynamics Online
  • Speed;
    • the time it takes to send and receive messages
  • Anonymity;
    • refers to identities created online, claiming to be someone you are not
  • Interactivity;
    • the ability of online participants to not only receive messages, but to react to them
  • Regard;
    • to be acknowledged as an individual
interpersonal communication
Interpersonal Communication
  • Interpersonal communication is one-to-one communication;
  • Interpersonal communication face-to-face or online;
  • Computer-mediated communication is closest to interpersonal communication;
within the perspective of interpersonal communication
Within the Perspective of Interpersonal Communication
  • Personal contexts;
  • Individual purposes;
  • Flaming;
  • Identity;
  • Story-telling;
  • Online relationships;
  • Relational stages;
community online
Community Online
  • Community online is the ability of people to come together, to have a sense of sharing and commonality in an online environment;
will online interpersonal communication enhance or attentuate human relationships
Will Online Interpersonal Communication Enhance or Attentuate Human Relationships?
  • Online relationships often include fantasy, stereotypical, idealized images;
  • Will time online substitute for other forms of communication?
enhancement or attenuation
Enhancement or Attenuation

One study finds that the Internet intensifies dispositions toward sociability or community involvement (DiMaggio, Hargittai, Neuman, and Robinson (2001);

Another study finds that use of the Internet is influenced by local culture and power relations (Wheeler, 2001);

social uses of the internet
Social Uses of the Internet
  • To meet people and create relationships;
  • To enhance relationships with family and friends;
  • To maintain long-distance relationships;
some effects of interpersonal communication online
Some Effects of Interpersonal Communication Online
  • Computer-mediated communication is similar to face-to-face communication, and may even affect how people communicate face-to-face;
  • There is often a casual sense of play in Internet communication;
  • There are often paradoxes associated with Internet communication;
  • Certain aspects of communication are intensified by Internet use;
some effects of interpersonal communication online11
Some Effects of Interpersonal Communication Online
  • Internet communication strongly engages intrapersonal communication;
  • The process of attaching meaning to the message is evident in online communication;
effects of speed reach anonymity regard and interactivity
Effects of Speed, Reach, Anonymity, Regard and Interactivity
  • We expect our communication technologies to be fast;
  • We are becoming obsessed with efficiency;
  • In spite of all the speed in communication technologies, many people feel they are running on a tread mill and cannot keep up with all that is coming at them;
  • In addition to your ability to reach others, reach also means that you can be reached just about anytime, anywhere;
  • Some speculate that the sense of constant connectedness, the speed of our messages, and the difficulty of keeping up with all the information reaching us, causes people to feel nervous and frustrated—to feel rage at times;
  • Flaming refers to harsh language directed at an individual online;
  • Scholars have speculated about the lack of social cues online due to the fact that generally we cannot see one another online, as contributing to flaming;
  • With reduced feedback, it is speculated, we can project our own hopes and fears;
  • Some believe that the reduction in social cues accounts for a tendency to be more disinhibited online, both in self disclosure and in aggression (the “disinhibition effect”;
  • Interactivity refers to the ability to respond to messages so as to give feedback, e.g., flaming may be seen as expressing anger in speaking back;
  • Not being identified as your self, or believing you are not identified as your self;
  • Some speculate that anonymity enhances the chances of expressing anger online—e.g., flaming;
influence on family
Influence on Family
  • Families are affected by the Internet and the way they communicate on the Internet;
  • The computer appears to affect different family members differently;
  • Family members use the computer for entertainment, escape, habit, and to pass time;
some ways family members can use the computer
Some ways Family Members can Use the Computer
  • To provide communication content;
  • To increase human interplay;
  • To improve individual’s self-esteem;
  • To enable new opportunities for interpersonal relationships;
online relationships
Online Relationships
  • Cultural differences are likely to affect perceptions of online communication;
  • According to one study, the Japanese were far more skeptical about the value of the Internet in human communication than the Americans or the Koreans;
computer literacy theory
Computer-Literacy Theory
  • One researcher suggests that the cultural differences actually may be due to practical differences;
  • Computer-literacy theory points to differences between cultures that are differences in the ease of inputing the language into the computer, cost of online time, and the cost of competing technologies;
online dating and relationships
Online Dating and Relationships
  • One study found that both men and women lied online, but for different reasons;
  • Women lied to protect themselves from men and men lied to protect their true identity so they could take greater risks with emotions online;
online dating and relationships22
Online Dating and Relationships
  • In online relationships, a person may think they know the other well, due to limited information;
  • Much of the relationship is created in the mind, to fill in for missing information;
control of information about the self
Control of Information about the Self
  • Some research suggests that the typical pattern of development of online relationships advances through more and more personal ways of communicating, with less and less control over the information revealed about the self;