Friday, April 26, 2013

New Media

In class, Mary and I lead the class discussion topic New Media. We discussed an article that discussed four computer mediated communication channels and how they affected trust development in a business environment (specifically supplier-purchaser, student-teacher, employees-company relationships. In the article, they focused on 4 forms of communications- face-to-face, video, audio and text chat communication situations. The experiment was a social dilemma game played between the subjects that involved money investments and trusting others or keeping to yourself. This brought up making questions.
"Long-distance collaboration is a fact of life for an increasing number of workers. More relationships are being formed and maintained online than ever before." We asked the class how many relationships they maintain solely through CMC. We talked briefly on hegemony-control by content and how society is being controlled by feeling the need, for example, to buy an iPhone for group messaging.
"Interpersonal trust is an area that is likely to be affected by mediated-communications...Handy asserts that 'trust needs touch'." We had a great class discussion on the idea if trust needs touch or if it could be fully achieved through a screen. We connected it to Mcluhan's argument that new technology becomes an extension of ourselves.
"Previous research has shown that text-based (emails, text messaging, instant messaging, etc.) CMC increases the sense of social distance between participants, reduces pressure to conform and may encourage uninhabited behavior. These characteristics might make trust agreements harder to maintain." They also explained two forms of trust. Delayed trust is slower progress toward full cooperation with the absences of body language, facial expressions and subtle voice inflections. Fragile trust is the vulnerability to opportunistic behavior. It brought up the question if it is okay for relationships to only be reliant on fragile trust. After the article and discussion, I think that you can only achieve true trust by touch but it can be maintained through CMC.

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