The Departure from Human Interaction

The Departure from Human Interaction

Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1897-6.ch002

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The explosion of social media and digital communication was driven by technological advances, so we begin this chapter with a short journey through that history. The phone and the tablet dominate the way we communicate in the present day. This chapter covers computer mediated communication (CMC) as the term for using information technology to interact with others. CMC is popular because it’s portable and allows us to communicate regardless of the limitations of geographical distance and time. Experts say that those who maintain long-distance friendships rate face-to-face communication fourth in importance behind telephone, email, and instant messaging. The evolution of cell phones and tablets has happened at breakneck speed. The smartphone is now a mega-functional, somewhat pocket-sized computer that includes a mobile app for virtually all of the capabilities that we used to have only on our desktop or laptop computer. Experts look at two related developments: mobile-friendly design and mobile-app development. Digital communicators can now use their smartphones to access the web quickly and effectively thanks to the continuing development of high-speed, large-bandwidth mobile networks (3G, 4G, Wi-Fi). An IT intelligence report yields fascinating information about the unbridled growth of technology and online communication. Half of the world’s population now has a mobile subscription—up from just one in five 10 years ago, and an additional one billion subscribers are predicted by 2020, taking the global penetration rate to approximately 60%. This increase in online communication benefits brings some unfortunate news. CMC typically results in a negative effect on face-to-face interactions with strangers, acquaintances, and families. We embark on this learning journey with a goal of getting online communicators to see, understand, and accept the skills and benefits of face-to-face communication. Change is necessary to get digital communicators interested in face-to-face interactions, so we turn to motivation. Motivation is the art of getting people to do something they may not otherwise want or choose to do. Online communication is also multicultural, so motivational ability must also focus on providing an effective framework for improvement and promoting heightened cultural awareness. A person’s cultural background can influence his or her perceptions of the environment, motives, and intentions of behaviors, communication norms, stereotyping, ethnocentrism, and prejudices. Social cohesion and interaction can suffer if these issues are not acknowledged or addressed. The ideas about motivation, culture, and diversity presented in this chapter are focused on changing the way people think about communication by motivating them and by understanding their self-concept.

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