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Interpersonal Communication Through Computer Mediated Interaction: How Social Networking Websites Have Changed Interpersonal Exchanges

2518 words - 10 pages

The interactional process known as interpersonal communication is a process that all individuals participate in throughout each day, existing between ourselves and our families and peers. Interpersonal communication is the process of using both verbal and nonverbal cues to send and receive messages to present intended meanings, specifically between two people. As particular dyadic interactions between individuals, interpersonal communication helps relationships develop from impersonal to personal. This distinct concept of communication is one that affects all individuals on earth and every relationship that he or she has with every person they know and interact with. However, with advances in technology and influential new ways for people to communicate with one another, interpersonal communication has undoubtedly been transformed as well. Through mediated social interaction-the social interaction that uses technology to help individuals better communicate between each other by allowing the participants to mediate their social exchanges by means of computers other forms of growing technology-most aspects of interpersonal communication have changed forever. Considering the creation and popularity of social networking websites, such as Facebook, MySpace and online dating services, not only have the common characteristics that once defined interpersonal communication changed, but also the way relationships are engaged, managed and disengaged have been transformed as a result of computer-mediated social interaction.The first and main characteristic of interpersonal communication is that the self is the basis for communicating on an interpersonal level with another person. The term self is complied of all the beliefs, meanings and understandings every individual develops throughout his or her lifetime. Among these are a person's unique characteristics, capacities and limitations, as well as one's overall worth as a human being. The self is our own personal design of who we are, what we are, and ultimately where we are in terms of social order. In fact, whenever communicating interpersonally with anther person, the self plays a vital role in the relationship in six different capacities: first there is your self image and their self image, along with your image of the other person and their image of you. Lastly, there is what you believe the other person's image of you is, while the other person also has an image of what they believe you constructed of them. These six personae are always present when communicating with another person and significantly affect every relationship a person is involved in (DeFleur 122).However, with the rise of computer-mediated interaction through social networking websites, the role of the self in interpersonal communication has changed significantly. With websites such as Facebook and MySpace, any person can create a profile for themselves and interact with other people around the world. The potential problem is that...

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