MSVU Social Media Course Blog

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Face-to-face or SNSs

In our reading, Taweel makes it apparent that there is no escape from the growth of technology.  Millions of people send e-mails, create blogs, etc, everyday.  Communications through these types of outlets have forced us to figure out if face-to-face exchanges or social media are more effective in achieving our goals as communications specialists.

Taweel makes arguments for both sides. Social media can be convenient, but it can be very hard or impossible to control your message. Face-to-face interactions can be great between parties that have longstanding relationships, but can also hinder the development of new relationships. Taweel claims, “shifting to face-to-face communication can sometimes be detrimental to relationships and communications—in large measure because physical characteristics and less obvious social skills enter the equation when meeting face-to-face versus strictly online (Annotated Bibliography, 2009, p.16).

All though Taweel states that the outcome was “somewhat limited”, I still find it fascinating that stronger relationships were built through internet communications than through face-to-face communication.  It makes me wonder if this is true for western civilization or across all cultures. It’s revealing of human nature.  It makes sense though. Regardless of how innocent we all claim to be, we tend to make judgments, consciously or unconsciously, about people before we truly get to know them. However, when using social media as a form of communication, depending on the type of SNS used, some characteristics that invoke judgment are silenced.

However, this may change once again with the further evolution of technology.  Livecasting sites such as Qik, BlogTV, Kyte, and Justin.tv have managed to bring face-to-face communication to social media. Kyte also has music and photos options. These sites allow you to “chat” live with others through the use of webcams and cellular phones.  Therefore, this type of technology allows the users to see and hear one another while they chat. Perhaps interactions through these types of SNSs might bring up some of the problems associated with face-to-face communications.

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May 16, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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