Over the past years, the media has been very efficient as a powerful tool of communication. The introduction of technology has enhanced the communication process to succeed through various forms of media (Wood, p. 105). This has mostly applied for mediated communication whereby technology is often used during one on one interactions. As a result of these, a technological medium can therefore be used to augment the communication process between different personalities. Although interpersonal communication does not entirely depend on a technological medium, there are instances where the media is essential for interaction. According to Corbin and White, the use of media during interpersonal communication has been able to influence people’s attitudes and behavior (Corbin & White, p. 78). Basically, the various forms of media include television, newspaper and radio. For a long time, the newspaper was widely used as the sole form of media; recently new technologies have given way to other mediums. One major impact of technology has been the introduction of internet services which are mainly used for the communication process. Today, online services have enabled people to interact with one another regardless of their geographical background (Corbin & White, p. 43). Social networks have even made it easier for people to interact with each other. This paper will mainly focus on mediated interpersonal communication.
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Activity 1: Media inventory
In our daily activities, we often come across different types of communication tools. Even in the rooms within our homes we also have very essential communication tools. Such tools are therefore mediators that normally pass different messages to us. Some examples of these communication mediators include television, radio, and wall clocks in our rooms. Wall clocks are important communication tools that serve the purpose of alerting people at their desired specific time. Normally they are installed with an alarm device that makes certain sounds on an hourly basis. As such the clock has always been used to alert individuals who have difficulties in waking up. This has been practical in schools where it is not the duty of teachers to tell students when they will wake up but the clock has succeeded in waking them up early on time. This also applies to radio stations which often update people on the time through presenters and their news reporters (Corbin & White 81). Other than this task, the radio is a medium through which important information can be conveyed. Advertisers are frequent customers of radio stations as they often this medium to communicate their messages. Instead of advertising directly to clients, the advertisers always use different kinds of mediums to convey their messages. Strangely most of us use such mediums without realizing how many they are. We recognize them with different communication messages but not with their number. To be precise, I was not aware that I had so many communication tools. I just use them without considering their number. Communication tools enable me to have extra time in which I can have enough time to prepare myself.
Activity 2: Mediated interpersonal communication effects
Communication is a fundamental aspect of our daily lives as people must always convey messages to each other. Basically, communication is the process of transferring information from one party to the other party. For effective communication to take place there has to be a medium through which the message is conveyed. As such, it is very important to select an appropriate medium that would be effective. Without an appropriate medium, the communication process would probably fail to attain its goal. However, it is important to note that people can have their interpersonal communication without necessarily using a mediator. Mediated interpersonal communication is especially effective in cases where individuals are in different locations. In other words, people prefer using mediated communication in situations where they cannot meet face to face with their colleagues, friends and relatives. Frequently, most individuals prefer using communication mediums like cell phones, email services, and social networks that promote interactions even in different geographical backgrounds.
Compared to in-person communication, cell phones allow room for immediate feedback between two different parties. Thus, talking through the phone enables individuals to receive feedbacks just like in in-person communication. Depending on the relationship between individuals, language usage during cell phone conversations may tend to vary. Close friends and family members may tend to have casual conversations with one another when engaging in either in-person communication or cell phone conversation. Because of this, a particular language can be used during cell-phone conversations and in-person communication. In some cases, some individuals use official language when talking on their cell phones and casual language when using in-person communication. The official language is commonly used when communicating with the co-operate world. Talking in the official language, therefore, applies both to the cell phone conversation and in-person communication. Unlike cell phone conversation, the in-person conversation is always prolonged with so many words.
According to Wood, most people are always cautious with their language when talking through cell phones than when having in-person communication. He further says that this is because there are charges imposed on cell phone conversation hence it would be important to mind the use of language. Contrary to in-person communication, the cell phone conversation is usually not appropriate for sharing secrets. When revealing information about ourselves, it is better to have in-person communication than a cell phone conversation. This is because in-person communication is more confidential than a cell phone conversation. Moreover, in-person communication enables individuals to have eye contact while interacting, unlike cell phone conversations. Due to lack of eye contact, it is easier for a person to deceive a friend through a cell phone conversation (Corbin & White 90).
Lying to someone during in-person communication may be difficult because of eye contact which can reveal any kind of deception. Most people are fond of creating lies when having cell phone conversations since it would be impossible to confirm their actions. For instance, a man might call his wife and tell her that he is at work when in a real sense he might be somewhere else like a restaurant or at a friend’s house. In this case, the wife would not be able to see if her husband is telling lies.
Another disadvantage of having a cell phone conversation is that it lacks the ability to interpret nonverbal cues correctly. Meanwhile, in-person communication would be able to interpret nonverbal cues accurately. Through face-to-face communication, an individual will have the ability to interpret nonverbal cues unlike when having a cell phone conversation. If someone was to use unfriendly nonverbal cues during a phone conversation, his/her actions would not be seen by the other person. In addition, this may promote risky or addictive behavior. By encouraging such none verbal cues, it is also possible to be addicted to the behavior. Similarly, both cell phone conversation and in-person communication are essential since they enhance interactions among family members. Family members need to stay in touch even when they are in different places and this can be achieved through the use of cell phones. Using cell phones has proved to speed up life as it saves time in cases where an urgent message must be delivered. An example is where individuals are able to call colleagues to inform them about an urgent meeting. If this individual was to deliver the message in person, it would take much longer time than through a phone conversation.
Email as a written tool of communication has enabled people to communicate with one another across the world. The language used for email services is normally quite different from that of in-person communication. Thus, the email language is usually official and straightforward. In having in-person communication both casual and official languages can be used. Compared to in-person communication, email is more confidential and often used in official matters. We can easily reveal information about ourselves when using in-person communication which is not easy when using emails. This is because people prefer sharing their secrets while they are together than when they just send emails. Deceiving a person can also be easy when an email service is used but not during in-person communication. Unlike email services, it is possible to interpret nonverbal cues during in-person communication. As a matter of fact, email services are based on written messages hence there is no face-to-face conversation. In as much as a person may use nonverbal cues while sending an email, it would never be reflected by the person receiving it. When interacting with family members, it would be suitable to use in-person communication than email services. Similarly, both email services and in-person communication are not very effective in speeding up the pace of life. In the case of in-person communication, delivering a message to a second person may take quite a lot of time. On the other hand, email services may not be effective to individuals who do not check their mailbox frequently.
It is not easy to avoid errors when using both email services and in-person communication. For instance, it is more likely to omit some words while delivering an in-person message. As a message is delivered, someone might forget about key points that he/she was to include and send. Writing an email is also likely to face errors that occur from grammatical mistakes. The grammatical errors are normally caused by technological effects or omissions of some words.
Compared to in-person communication, texting language is usually very brief and straight to the point. Furthermore, the language may not need any explanations and hence they are written in short forms. An In-person communication however allows room for explanation in cases where a message is not understood. Similarly, both in-person and text messages may reveal information about a person. The only difference is that a text message may not reveal every detail about some information. Individuals who have a face-to-face conversation would be more comfortable sharing their secrets in detail unlike through text messages. According to Wood, individuals who send text messages are more likely to deceive their friends than when having a face-to-face talk with them.
Apparently, the language used in social networks is usually similar to the language used in personal communication. Social networks have enabled individuals to talk freely about their life experiences and other issues. In this case, there is the use of a similar language when people are having in-person communication. Examples of social networks include Facebook and Twitter where people can reveal their personal information (Wood 75). Revealing of certain information may occur between close friends or close relatives. In contrast, friends within the social network are more likely to deceive one another than in cases of in-person communication. This is because friends within the social network are normally in different locations and so it might not be easier to detect a lie. Interpreting nonverbal communication is impossible during communication within social networks. On the other hand, it is very possible to interpret nonverbal communication while having in-person communication.
As individuals interact with each other, they can easily interpret their nonverbal communication. In case someone is not happy, his attitude would be reflected by the way he/she behaves. Nonverbal communication is very essential while talking face to face with other people. Unfortunately, this does not apply to individuals within social networks (Wood 120). Communication among family members is usually through in-person communication but is not common within social networks. Most family members live together hence they prefer a one on one conversation rather than using social networks. In the real sense, it would not be appropriate to deliver a message through social networks while staying together in one house. For example, if a husband wants to deliver a message to his wife, it would not be logical to use social networks while they are at the same place. Noticeably, social networks are speeding up life as more people are drastically making new friends across the world..
The media has been very efficient as a powerful tool of communication and the introduction of technology has enhanced these through various forms of media. Using mediators is very important when having interpersonal communication. Communication tools have a big role in our lives yet some people often fail to recognize their importance. Globalization has paved way for new technologies which have brought about numerous mediums like television, radio, newspaper and online services. These mediums have enabled people to communicate with one another irrespective of their geographical backgrounds.
Social networks are rampantly being used as a medium of communication among different kinds of people. Communication is a fundamental aspect of our daily lives as people must always convey messages to each other. Basically, communication is the process of transferring information from one party to the other party. Compared to in-person communication, cell phones allow room for immediate feedback between two different parties. Email as a written tool of communication has enabled people to communicate with one another across the world. Social networks have enabled individuals to talk freely about their life experiences and other issues. In this case, there is the use of a similar language when people are communicating.
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- Corbin, Carol & White Dawn. Interpersonal Communication: A cultural approach by Carol Corbin and Dawn White. US: Cape Breton University Press.2009.
- Wood, Julia. Interpersonal Communication: Everyday Encounters. Canada: Cengage Learning.2010.