Is Face To Face (F2 F) Communication Necessary For The Expression Of Emotions? What Effects Have The Use Of Sms On The Development And Maintenance Of Relationships Today?

1087 words - 4 pages

Is face-to-face (F2F) communication necessary for the expression of emotions? What effects have the use of SMS on the development and maintenance of relationships today? Can one express themselves via SMS or is it merely an act of self-preservation? Firstly the difference between expression and communication shall be outlined in accordance with the terminology of Goffman.. Goffmans terminology will be applied to the nature of SMS communication.According to Goffman (1969), expression refers to gesture, signs, vocalizations, marks, and movements produced by the mere presence of a person in an environment. The expressions emanating from the individual do not present any explicit 'statement' or argument about things in general but they give information about the expressing organism. The tone of voice, non-verbal cues, facial expressions, bodily movement provide us with information about how a person is feeling about what they are saying and towards they're immediate physical proximity. The information received from expressions is always tied to the expresser and the specific on-going situation( Meyrowitz, 85).In contrast, Goffman defines communication to mean the use of language or language like symbols for the intentional transmission of a message. Communication involves purposeful symbolic utterances or written statements about things events and ideas. These communications can be abstract. Ideas about abstracts such as freedom or hopes for the future can be communicated.The distinction lies here: "One can start and stop communicating at will but one cannot stop expressing" (Goffman, 1969) Communications are consciously given but expressions are given off. Expressions are constant and much less controllable than communications. While communications can be about anything expressions are about the person giving them off. Expressions are personal and idiosyncratic. They are used in the process of revealing what a person feels or what a person "is like". For this reason important decisions about relationships rely much more heavily on expressions than on communications (Meyrowitz ,1985).Expressive messages constantly tell us something about the expresser's orientation towards the situation, what they are feeling and what their own emotional response to their own behaviour is. When observing a politician on television it is usual to respond to the speaker and not the speech e.g she sounds guilty, looks nervous etc. ( Meyrowitz,1985)If we consider the nature of the SMS as a form of interaction, It would appear to be of a communicative nature, as the message is intentionally given through the SMS. The expression cues which one naturally gives off are not visible to the receiver nor are the reaction expressions visible to the sender. Some similar dichotomies shall now be discussed in order to further demonstrate the differences between expression and communication.Discursive vs presentational symbolsThere is a strong parallel between Goffmans distinction...

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