Monday, February 6, 2012

Social Cues

Dear Nancy Bayam,

To an extent I agree with you that the cues filtered out approach is wrong because even in only text form we are able to form relationships and understand one another in a text only form. As you bring up in your book we can express emotions by through emoticons, or changing the size of the letters, we also tend to type the same way we speak therefore showing immediacy.

Furthermore according to you, gender can appear in a mediated textual form as well. girls tend to add "social softening, extra words and emotional sharing of experiences, Boys tend to write about what has happened, and where and how." (p.67)

I believe that a generational difference has a lot to do with the understanding, and being able to pick up these social cues in a text form. People in the 1970's were just starting to get internet and so these forms of communication had either not been invented or people were not as aware of them. It is the generation of the 90's and up that truly understand and make use of these new social cues and therefore we have taken the text-only form to new heights, today we have things like second life. 

The way I see it SL might be the closest thing that we have to face-to-face in terms of media richness and social presence, it probably competes with videoconferencing. Avatars in second life are, according to The Scientific Research Potential of Virtual Worlds, "The simulated people in SL are avatars, supposedly expressing the identities of their human owners." Since avatars, like us, can gather in one place and socialize to other avatars,  dress up, smile, cry, dance, walk, etc., then isn’t it practically face-to-face?

According to, A Social History of Worlds, “interaction is the virtual worlds occurs in real time; users experience immediacy.” In these worlds people don’t pretend to interact, there are many people that actually make relationships with other avatars to the extent that “creativity and collaboration began to have a place in virtual worlds.” It takes two or more in order to collaborate and it also takes full understanding of the task to being accomplished so that the people can work together. Sites like Second Life have demonstrated that since the above are possible in a virtual world and so I agree with you in thinking that the old school of thought on mediated communication is wrong, and I want to add, that instead of diminishing social cues it has instead created new ones. 

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