Mediated Interpersonal Communication

Mediated Interpersonal Communication

Mediated Interpersonal Communication

Mediated Interpersonal Communication

Synopsis

Mediated interpersonal communication is one of the most dynamic areas in communication studies, reflecting how individuals utilize technology more and more often in their personal interactions. Organizations also rely increasingly on mediated interaction for their communications. Responding to this evolution in communication, this collection explores how existing and new personal communication technologies facilitate and change interpersonal interactions. Chapters offer in-depth examinations of mediated interpersonal communication in various contexts and applications. Contributions come from well-known scholars based around the world, reflecting the strong international interest and work in the area.

Excerpt

Communicating with friends and family members via the (cell) phone or email, working in a virtual team, seeking a partner on an online dating site, looking for support in an online social support group, interacting with an automated speech system while booking a fight, getting help from an avatar while visiting an online store, watching “Sex and the City,” and perceiving the girls as friends, or spending some time in Second Life— activities like these have become part of everyday life for many people.

A great deal of interpersonal communication is now mediated by technology, but computer-mediated technologies (e.g., sms, chat rooms, msn, email, virtual group work, weblogs, mobile social software) can sometimes facilitate or impede communication and can alter interpersonal interactions. the primary focus of this edited volume, Mediated Interpersonal Communication, is on the impact of communication media on interpersonal communication. the book covers a wide range of communication media as well as contexts. the chapters range from private contexts such as communication with family and friends via the cell phone or online dating via recreational contexts such as playing games and parasocial interactions with (new) media characters to professional contexts such as virtual collaboration practices. the chapters deal with more traditional media such as tv, newsgroups, and email, discuss newer trends such as mobile social media, and provide examples of technologies in development such as touch in computer-mediated communication.

Much attention is paid to how new technologies challenge the more traditional definitions of interpersonal communication. Recent trends in mass communication (such as the personalization of messages) and interpersonal communication (such as the increasing use of technical devices to communicate interpersonally) have blurred the boundaries between the two fields, forcing us to develop more sophisticated theories and models. new technologies can be seen as relationship enablers—they not only add new forms of interpersonal communication, but they fundamentally change how individuals interact (e.g. communication with avatars, parasocial interactions).

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