computer-mediated communication

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Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) is defined broadly as any form of human interaction across two or more networked computers. While the term has traditionally referred to those communications that occur via computer-mediated formats (i.e., instant messages, e-mails, chat rooms) it has also been applied to other forms of text-based interaction such as text messaging. [1] Research on CMC focuses largely on the social effects of different computer-supported communication technologies. Many recent studies involve Internet-based social networking supported by social software.

* 1 Scope of the field
* 2 Characteristics
* 3 Types
* 4 Language learning
* 5 External links
* 6 References

[edit] Scope of the field

Scholars from a variety of fields study phenomena that can be described under the umbrella term of CMC (see also Internet studies). For example, many take a sociopsychological approach to CMC by examining how humans use "computers" (or digital media) to manage interpersonal interaction, form impressions and form and maintain relationships.[2][3] These studies have often focused on the differences between online and offline interactions, though contemporary research is moving towards the view that CMC should be studied as embedded in everyday life .[4] Another branch of CMC research examines the use of paralinguistic features such as emoticons; pragmatic rules such as turn-taking[5] and the sequential analysis and organization of talk;[6][7] and the various sociolects, styles, registers or sets of terminology specific to these environments (see Leet). The study of language in these contexts is typically based on text-based forms of CMC, and is sometimes referred to as "computer-mediated discourse analysis".[8]

The way humans communicate in professional, social, and educational settings varies widely, depending upon not only the environment but also the method of communication in which the communication occurs (which, in this case, is through computers or other ICTs). The study of communication to achieve collaboration - common work products - is termed computer-supported collaboration and includes only some of the concerns of other forms of CMC research.

Popular forms of CMC include e-mail, video, audio or text chat (text conferencing including "instant messaging"), bulletin boards, list-servs and MMOs. These settings are changing rapidly with the development of new technologies. Weblogs (blogs) have also become popular, and the exchange of RSS data has better enabled users to each "become their own publisher." Additionally, the wiki has come to provide interesting alternatives for communication.

[edit] Characteristics

Communication occurring within a computer-mediated format has an effect on many different aspects of an interaction. Some of these that have received attention in the scholarly literature include impression formation, deception and lying behavior, group dynamics, disinhibition and especially relationship formation.

CMC is examined and compared to other communication media through a number of aspects thought to be universal to all forms of communication, including (but not limited to) synchronicity, persistence or "recordability", and anonymity. The association of these aspects with different forms of communication varies widely. For example, instant messaging is prototypically synchronous, but rarely persistent since one loses all the content when one closes the dialog box unless one has a message log set up or has manually copy-pasted the conversation. E-mail and message boards are similar; both are prototypically low in synchronicity since response time varies, but high in persistence since messages sent and received are saved.

Anonymity and in part privacy and security depends more on the context and particular program being used or web page being visited. However, most researchers in the field acknowledge the importance of considering the psychological and social implications of these factors alongside the technical "limitations."

[edit] Types

CMC can be divided into synchronous and asynchronous modes. In synchronous communications all participants are online at the same time, while asynchronous communications occurs without time constraints

[edit] Language learning

CMC is widely discussed in language learning because CMC provides opportunities for language learners to practice their language.[9] For example, Warschauer[10] conducted several case studies on using email or discussion board in different language classes. Warschauer[11] claimed that information and communications technology, “bridge the historic divide between speech … and writing”. Thus, considerable concern has arisen over the reading and writing research in L2 due to the booming of Internet.

[edit] External links

See software tool for sequentially analyzing and visualizing the "sequential organization of talk" in CMC.

[edit] References

1. ^ Thurlow, C., Lengel, L. & Tomic, A. (2004). Computer mediated communication: Social interaction and the internet. London: Sage.
2. ^ Walther, J. B. (1996). Computer-mediated communication: Impersonal, interpersonal, and hyperpersonal interaction. Communication Research, 23, 3-43.
3. ^ Walther, J. B., & Burgoon, J. K. (1992). Relational communication in computer-mediated interaction. Human Communication Research, 19, 50-88.
4. ^ Haythornthwaite, C. and Wellman, B. (2002). The Internet in everyday life: An introduction. In B. Wellman and C. Haythornthwaite (Eds.), The Internet in Everyday Life (pp. 3-41). Oxford: Blackwell.
5. ^ Garcia, A. C., & Jacobs, J. B. (1999). The eyes of the beholder: Understanding the turn-taking system in quasi-synchronous computer-mediated communication. Research on Language & Social Interaction, 32, 337-367.
6. ^ Herring, S. (1999). Interactional coherence in CMC. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 4(4).
7. ^ Markman, K. M. (2006). Computer-mediated conversation: The organization of talk in chat-based virtual team meetings. Dissertation Abstracts International, 67 (12A), 4388. (UMI No. 3244348)
8. ^ Herring, S. C. (2004). Computer-mediated discourse analysis: An approach to researching online behavior. In: S. A. Barab, R. Kling, and J. H. Gray (Eds.), Designing for Virtual Communities in the Service of Learning (pp. 338-376). New York: Cambridge University Press.
9. ^ Abrams, Z. (2006). From Theory to Practice: Intracultural CMC in the L2 Classroom. book chapter, forthcoming in Ducate, Lara & Nike Arnold (Eds.) Calling on CALL: From Theory and Research to New Directions in Foreign Language Teaching.
10. ^ Warschauer, M. (1998). Electronic literacies: Language, culture and power in online education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
11. ^ Warschauer, M. (2006). Laptops and literacy: learning in the wireless classroom: Teachers College, Columbia University.

v • d • e
Computer-mediated communication
Online discourse environment, Online discussion, Communication software
Asynchronous conferencing
E-mail • Electronic mailing list • Internet forum • Wiki
Synchronous conferencing
(Online chat)
Instant messaging • LAN messenger • Web chat • Web conferencing • Videoconferencing • Data conferencing • Voice chat • VoIP
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Categories: Information systems | Social sciences | Communication

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