How Do We Connect?

How Do We Connect?

Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1897-6.ch005

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This chapter covers communication methods and a comparison of barriers to communication as they relate to FTF and online interactions. To this point, we have covered a lot of information about social networking, focusing on relevant research and expert testimony. But how do we really connect? To discover the real keys to communication, we have to understand the way communication happens, and then compare and contrast face-to-face and online communications. In looking at various activities in the two approaches, we must understand the existing barriers to communication. Once all of those considerations are covered, we need to understand the steps necessary for full-range communications. For that, we examine models like Michael Argyle’s 1972 Communication Cycle, Wilbur Schramm’s 1954 Model of Communication that was later revised, and or the Shannon-Weaver Model of Communication. The Shannon-Weaver model demonstrates communication as an interactive process where participants exchange messages and deal with noise in the channel. We address kinesics, proximity, and posture. Kinesics is body language, or communicating through body motions like facial expressions and gestures related to movement of the body in whole or in part. The dictionary defines proxemics as the study of the nature, degree, and effect of the spatial separation that individuals naturally maintain. Western society considers four distances when dealing with relationships between people: intimate, personal, social, and public. We will define those relationships and discuss reading emotions, attitudes, and intentions by analyzing someone’s posture. This is an examination of interpersonal communication, which is about defining ourselves through social interaction to create and negotiate identities, relationships, and meanings. Here, we introduce several important references for interpersonal communication discovery and discussion. The first is the second edition of Engaging Theories in Interpersonal Communication: Multiple Perspectives by Dawn O. Braithwaite and Paul Schrodt. This work provides great information on a variety of theories that allow a broad examination of the interpersonal communication that is so important to our learning journey. The foreword provides an excellent overview and deep insight by Leslie Baxter, one of the editors for the first edition. The next important reference is a 2004 distinguished scholar article by Leslie A. Baxter titled Relationships as Dialogues, which discusses five interrelated conceptions of dialogue. The traditional view of communication is that the process exists to allow people to express their attitudes and beliefs, transmitting them to others so they gain understanding of the sender. In this way, tradition dictates that the sender can influence the attitudes, beliefs, and actions of the receiver to conform to those of the sender. Baxter discusses an alternative, constitutive approach whereby dialogue defines or constructs the social world, which then encompasses and further develops the self and personal relationships. In other words, the dialogue creates an environment in which relationships are formed and people can develop together. Also referenced is an article titled Communication Theory as a Field by Roger Craig, portions of which were presented in earlier versions as the Second Annual Lecture in Human Communication, Indiana University, Bloomington, October 16, 1996, and at annual conferences of the International Communication Association, Montreal, May 1997, and the National Communication Association, Chicago, November 1997. This essay examines the field of communication theory, combining the constitutive model with metadiscourse to allow a broader, richer view of human interaction. These important references provide a foundation for the communication discovery we are undertaking here. The chapter concludes with a closer look at barriers to communication and at full-range communication.

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