Computer Mediated Communication

Today's way of communicating.Retrieved From

The emergence of technology as medium of communication are not something that is new. Long before creation of computer, technology as communication medium have been practiced through the use of traditional technology medium such as television, typewriter and etc. In the expansion of technology, communication are more varieties in terms of its methods and process which led us to the wider scope of communication. However, the field of communication and technology is too broad to discuss about. Hence, in this entry, we will be discussing on a smaller portion of it which is the Computer-mediated communication or is more foreknown by its acronym, the CMC. Statistics indicated that majority of teenagers, young adults and adults, especially students of this generation must have been engaging with CMC at least if not often, once in their life time. However, one’s experience may be different from another, thus, in this entry, we are providing an insight of two different experiences of our members in the process of CMC and how these experiences are correlated to theories and concepts of CMC. But what is CMC all about?

Walther, (1992) describe CMC as a “synchronous or asynchronous electronic mail and computer conferencing, by which senders encode in text messages that are relayed from senders' computers to receivers(p.52), whereas McQuail, (2005) define computer-mediated communication (CMC) as any human communication that occurs through the use of two or more electronic devices whereas instant messaging as an example of CMC is a software application that exchange messages in real time, thus it fall under the synchronous group of CMC (Rouse, Jan 2008) in

Member A, informed us that she used to be too engage with instant messaging (IM) but not until it causes misunderstandings between them. As told by her, she justified that she and her friends preferred communicating with one another online rather than having a face-to-face interaction with one another. It occurred that one day one of the member left a message as a reminder of an important matter that need to be done on that exact day with the content typed in caps lock as a cue of the emergency on the matter, or at least that is what she thought before she went offline. Unfortunately, the information of her message were wrongly interpreted as the receivers thought that she was being mad, sarcastic and annoyed. The information misinterpretation resulting into a crisis which could have been avoided if she had optioned for richer CMC such as phone calls. The lingering question of this situation is that how and why can misinterpretation of information in CMC occur? The second experience that had occurred in CMC is how antisocial a person can be when he engaged too with CMC without control. According to (Kraut et al., 1998) greater use of the internet is associated with declined in participant’s communication with family members in the household, declines in the size of the social circle, and increases in their depression and loneliness. This is something that always occurred especially to me, I feel that rather lingering with people outside, I rather playing with your social media in my room for the whole day. There is less interaction face to face communication between people in reality having a real conversation. Instead I have conversation with my friends in the social.

To kick start our discourse, we would begin with two familiar accusations on CMC which are the allegation of asociality and antisociality. Thurlow, et al., (2004) state allegation of asociality as the reduction in the quality of communication as a result of internet restriction whereas allegation of antisociality is the negative impact that of CMC on offline relationship and offline communication. Based on the experience of our member, all three deficit approaches of CMC can be used to explain the reason why misinterpretation of information can occur. First, based on the approach of the social presence theory model (Short, Williams, & Christie, 1976) states that lower numbers of visual cues lead to lower social presence and the information or communication that occurred in the presence of this models tend to be more task oriented and focused less on relationship communication (Bubas, 2001) and possible uncertainty range of reduction strategies is limited (Oni, 2013).

On the other hand, The Cuelessness Model emphasize on the absence of all nonverbal cues such as gestures, eye contact, tone of voice and expressions (Thurlow et al., 2004). Absence of both visual and para-linguistic cues in technologically mediated communication leads to the increase in psychological distance that causes greater impersonal communication which can also bring to a more spontaneous and clumsy communication (ibid, 2004).  Last but not least is the explanation based on the Media Richness Model that is according to Oni (2013) is a model where “task performance will be improved when capabilities of the media (cues, feedback, personal focus, and language variety) are matched to task ambivalence and uncertainty” (p.49) and that media in the form of text-based CMC such as email cannot serve such emotionally complex interactions (Thurlow et al., 2004). This explains the reasons why text-based computer-mediated communication such as the one used by our member, provide little to no cues in their communications, hence, increases the possibility in the misinterpretation of


Bubas, G. 2001. Computer mediated communication theories and phenomena: Factors      that influence collaboration over the internet. Varazdin: University of Zagreb.   
McQuail, Denis. 2005. Mcquail's Mass Communication Theory. 5th ed. London: SAGE   Publications
Oni, W. 2013. A survey of fundamental theories, models and perspectives on computer      mediated communication. African Nebula (6): 44-60. Osugbo, Nigeria: University of            Osun State.
R. M. (2008, January). What is instant messaging (IM or IM-ing or AIM)? - Definition     from Retrieved March 8, 2016, from

Short, J., Williams, E., and Christie, B. 1976. The Psychology of Telecommunication.                    London: Wiley.

Thurlow,C., Lengel, L., & Tomic, A. 2004. A review of: “Computer mediated

communication: social interaction and the internet”. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage,


Walther, J. B. 1992. Interpersonal effects in computer-mediated interaction: A        relational             perspective. Communication Research, 19,52-90.

Kraut, R., Patterson, M., Lundmark, V., Kiesler, S., Mukophadhyay, T., & Scherlis, W. (1998). Internet paradox: A social technology that reduces social involvement and psychological well-being?. American Psychologist, 53(9), 1017-1031. 

Matamotos, D.(Diana Matamotos).(2011,Jun 11) Computer-Mediated Communication. Retrieved From

1 comment:

  1. nice info! really help me a lot :) thumbs up


Hye! Please leave us your comments :)