Computer-Mediated communication (CMC) is critical in human communication due to its affordability, reliability, and connectivity. As the world steadily becomes a global village, communication experts have embraced computer-Mediated communication in providing communication solutions and enhancing interaction between socializing agents.
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Therefore, what factors directly affect the success of different CMC modes in relational maintenance and behavioral patterns in human communication environment?
Thus, this reflective treatise attempts to explicitly applaud on the modes and behavioral patterns observed across the gender divide and how the same can be related to success of CMC in provision of communication solutions to socializing agents drawn from a cross different cultural divides, gender, age, and exposure.
In order to comprehensively understand and interpreter the research question, the treatise review three previous literature on the topic by examining the articles.
The Cyber Factor: An Analysis of Relational Maintenance Through the Use of Computer-Mediated Communication by Houser, Fleuriet, and Estrada, IMing, Text Messaging, and Adolescent Social Networks by Bryant, Sanders-Jackson, and Smallwood, College Students’ Use of Relational Management Strategies in Email in Long-Distance and Geographically Close Relationships by Johnson, Haigh, Becker, Craig, and Wigley, and Assessing the Measurement Invariance of Relational Maintenance Behavior When Face-to-Face and Online by Andrew Ledbetter.
The article, Cyber Factor: an Analysis of Relational Maintenance Through the use of Computer-Mediated Communication by Houser, Fleuriet, and Estrada dwells on the link between interpersonal communication and CMC. Adopting both qualitative and quantitative analysis, the article identifies significant relationship between gender variance and use of CMC modes.
Intrinsically, the authors conclude that success of different CMC strategies are largely influenced by mode adopted in the process of relational management.
Thus, as opined by the authors of this article, there is a quantifiable relationship that actively operates in the interaction between relationship type; as determined by gender of the client, and CMC mode for that specific gender divide. Women are noted to be more reliable and consistent that men (Houser, Fleuriet, & Estrada, 2012).
On the other hand, the article, IMing, Text Messaging, and Adolescent Social Networks by Bryant, Sanders-Jackson, and Smallwood is a continuation of research on the link between CMC networks and adolescent age group in development of technologies that are socially interactive.
Concentrating on quantitative research, the article is specific in identifying the aspect of inconsistent or quantifiable between teenage participation in socially interactive technologies (SIT) and traditional mode of communication (Jackson, Bryant, & Smallwood, 2006).
However, the authors identified socially isolated teenagers as major users of SIT due to passiveness and other minor reasons. Here, use of SIT which is part of CMC among teenagers is largely determined by the behavioral patterns of the subjects. Specifically, those who are weak socially in this group are likely to use this mode of communication that those that are socially active.
The third article, College Students’ Use of Relational Management Strategies in Email in Long-Distance and Geographically Close Relationships by Johnson, Haigh, Becker, Craig, and Wigley examines the significant of emails in enacting maintenance behaviors exhibited in the daily interpersonal interactions and relate this to the aspect of geographical distance between subjects interacting.
Through embracing maintenance strategy topology, the study identifies the aspects of self disclosure, positivity, and social networking as the assuring factors that promoted effectiveness of CMC modes used across the generational divide (Johnson, Haigh, Becker, Craig, & Wigley, 2008). However, the geographical distance had negligible influence on assurances and social networking through CMC.
Though not as comprehensive as the other articles, the article, Assessing the Measurement Invariance of Relational Maintenance Behavior When Face-to-Face and Online by Andrew Ledbetter examines existing differences in the five identified relational maintenance behavior (RMB) types in different instant messaging and “face-to-face communication” (Ledbetter, 2010, p. 4).
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Specifically, the article borrows heavily from the Relational Maintenance Strategy Measure (RMSM) in statistical analysis of the existing variance in answering the research question. Interestingly, the findings are in line with the RMSM in extrapolating the intrinsic relationship that exist in the interaction of instant messaging, CMC, and relational maintenance.
From the literature review as indicated by the articles, the main factors that affect the success of CMC modes of communication are the aspects of social activeness, age, gender, purpose and relationship between the subjects communicating. Notably, it is apparent that cordial relationships would prefer assurance in use of CMC modes that casual acquaintances.
Besides, gender determines reliability of the users noting that those females are generally more consistent than their male counterparts. Among the younger generation, that is adolescent and teenagers, use of CMC is highly influenced by confidence and social activeness.
As noted in the research by Bryant, Sanders-Jackson, and Smallwood, it is factual that CMC models are likely to be explored more by those teenagers that are not socially interactive. Due to their ‘loneliness’, they would rather prefer this mode of communication to the traditional face-to-face communication that requires a lot of confidence in expression.
Therefore, in designing an appropriate CMC model for human communication, it is critical to factor in behavioral patterns noted in the above studies to create practical and reliable communication designs for reaching different gender, age, culture, and exposure.
Houser, M., Fleuriet, C., & Estrada, D. (2012). The Cyber Factor: An Analysis of Relational Maintenance Through the Use of Computer-Mediated Communication, Communication Research Reports, 29(1), 34–43.
Jackson, A., Bryant, A., & Smallwood, A. (2006). IMing, Text Messaging, and Adolescent Social Networks, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 11, 577–592.
Johnson, J., Haigh, M., Becker, J., Craig, E., & Wigley, S. (2008). College Students’ Use of Relational Management Strategies in Email in Long-Distance and Geographically Close Relationships, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), 381–404.
Ledbetter, A. (2010). Assessing the Measurement Invariance of Relational Maintenance Behavior When Face-to-Face and Online, Communication Research Reports, 27(1), 30–37.