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Computer-Mediated Communication in Personal Relationships

Edited By Kevin B. Wright and Lynne M. Webb

This is the first collection of readings on computer-mediated communication focusing exclusively on interpersonal interactions. Examining messages exchanged via email, Twitter, Facebook, websites, and blogs, the authors analyze communication issues of ongoing importance in relationships including deception, disclosure, identity, influence, perception, privacy, sexual fidelity, and social support. The book examines subjects that attract intense student interest – including online performance of gender, online dating, and using computer-mediated communication to achieve family/work life balance – and will inspire further research and course development in the area of computer-mediated communication in personal relationships. Because it provides a synthesis of ideas at the nexus of interpersonal communication theory and computer-mediated communication theory, the book can serve as a textbook for advanced undergraduate as well as graduate courses.
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2. Unpacking the Paradoxes of Privacy in CMC Relationships: The Challenges of Blogging and Relational Communication on the Internet (Jeffrey T. Child / Sandra Petronio)

Extract

CHAPTER 2

Unpacking the Paradoxes of Privacy in CMC Relationships: The Challenges of Blogging and Relational Communication on the Internet

Jeffrey T. Child

Sandra Petronio

In a recent posting, a parent uploaded and tagged a picture of their 18 year old son as a little boy dressed in a tutu. Once tagged, the photo became accessible to the son’s entire Facebook friend network with a corresponding newsfeed of the action. The mortified son quickly responded to the posting by untagging and disassociating the image from his identity. He also made it clear to his parents that there needed to be a mutually agreed upon posting criterion with his parents so this kind of privacy invasion did not occur again. As this example illustrates, privacy management is a challenging enterprise with social media such as Facebook. While the creation of personal-journal diary blogs, social networking, and Twitter sites provide users multiple opportunities to engage in computer-mediated communication (CMC), privacy, communication, and technology are interwoven in critical ways.

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