Roommate conflict can be described as incompatible differences between two or more unrelated people sharing a living space where the needs of each are either met or obstructed by the other (Knapp, Putnam & Davis, 1988). Roommate conflicts can be dealt with in many ways depending on the issue and the closeness of the relationship of the individuals. Some of these ways are through face-to-face communication and text messaging.
The use of cell phones (text messaging) is a source of conflict and rule making in relationships (Duran, Kelly & Rotaru, 2011). The use of text messaging depends on the interpersonal relationship between the sender and receiver. Proper use of text messaging involves the ability of an individual to overcome the limitations and their personal construction and understanding of the nature of the message. The interpretations and assumptions an individual makes about the outcomes of the message also contribute to the understanding of the message. These different interpretations of the messages consist of the Attribution Theory, Errors in Interpretation, and Ineffective interpretation.
The way individuals use text depends on how they would like their “face” to be perceived (Anselmo, 2013). Face perception plays a big role in whether or not roommates use text messaging as a tool for conflict resolution. Knowing that the visual anonymity of computer-mediated communication may reduce face threat and makes individuals more likely to disclose information to others, individuals may feel more comfortable expressing their emotions through computer-mediated communication during a conflict (Joinson, 2011).
The level of face perception a person wants to obtain depends on the conflict management and resolution strategies the person uses. The different conflict management strategies are avoidance, accommodation, aggression, and collaboration. Types of conflict resolution strategies are passive-indirect, distributive, and integrative.
In conclusion, to avoid errors in interpretation individuals should check their perceptions when in a conflict to avoid ineffective communication. To do this, individuals should check their perceptions. Text messaging is a tool used for conflict resolution in order to save face perception. An efficient way to use text messaging in conflict is to avoid errors in interpretation including attribution theory. Checking your perception when using text messaging will also make it a more efficient way to manage conflict compared to face-to-face communication in roommate conflicts.
Summary of Literature
First-year university students may not have experienced people much different from themselves, and limited interaction with different people may limit the cognitive or communicative skills required to process such differences (Freeman, Littlejohn & Pearce, 1992). This limit of cognitive and communicative skills can hinder the relationships they have or develop with their college roommates. These conflicts...