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Personal Connections In The Digital Age

2124 words - 8 pages

Introduction
Compared with the past centuries, there are several types of communication technologies which could be used when communicating with others in the contemporary society. Information flow can be shown in different patterns in the twenty-first century, for example, spoken, written and keyed forms (Brody, 1990). It would be apparent that digital citizens have changed their communication style gradually due to the rapid development of media technologies. According to Dimmich et al. (2011:1266), access to different media technologies stimulates the fluency of interpersonal communication such as telephone, email, instant message (IM) and social networks, thus, users could contact with others without the obstruction of distance and time. Digital media have varied human’s original social connection, whether it ruins the quality of personal relationships or explores more communication channels (Byam, 2010). It might be true that the amount of the modern media technologies users has increased dramatically and those technologies would play important roles for most people in their daily life and change not only human’s communication pattern but also impact on the quality of interpersonal relationship.
The modern media technologies would attract more general public to utilize because of simultaneousness, interactivity, social identification and extension of social circle. However, some users would consider negative effects on interpersonal relationship, which result from heavy reliance of media technologies, for instance, ineffective communication due to unclear expression, threat to close relationship and a sense of interpersonal alienation.

This essay will analyse the reasons why media technologies have become the mainstream channels in interpersonal relationship. After that, it will discuss the potential drawbacks to interpersonal relationship, which are caused by media technologies and make users to consider what extend they should rely on those modern media technologies.

Shorten the distance of interpersonal relationship between users
The new media technologies might usually be regarded as the best approach for users to shorten the geographic distance between users, although they live far from each other. “Going through their daily lives, many interpersonal media users are frequently in a state of mobility (Dimmich, 2011, pp.1269).” For example, expatriate employees
would use the modern media to communicate with left behind relatives. According to Madianou and Miller’s (2012:171) research on digital media in interpersonal relationship, the improvement of modern communication technologies and media convergence result in the revolution of interpersonal communication, the dramatical population movement and the flow of human capital. The increase of demand of the modern communication technologies could be found in migrants and their family members who still live in their homeland (Parreñas, 2005 cited in Madianou and Miller, 2012, pp.171). It...

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