Edited By Kevin B. Wright and Lynne M. Webb
5. Communication Competence and Apprehension during CMC in Online and Face-to-face Relationships (W. Scott Sanders / Patricia Amason)
Communication Competence and Apprehension during CMC in Online and Face-to-Face Relationships
W. Scott Sanders
Communication using mediated channels is a common and permanent fixture in the lives of many Americans. Internet usage in the United States alone increased by 32% from an average of 53 million adult users per day to over 70 million (Pew Internet and American Life Project [PIALP] 2005). Based on the results of the PIALP it is estimated that 63% of adult Americans, or 128 million people, use the Internet allowing for communication among users through applications such as email, instant messaging, and social networking sites. IM was identified as the most highly selected medium for communicating among teens (Lenhart, Madden, & Hitlin, 2005) and email is the single most popular Internet activity with more time devoted to email than to any other single activity online (PIALP). More importantly, surpassing the telephone, the internet has become the most popular mediated channel for relational management (Baym, Zhang, & Lin, 2004). The PIALP study first conducted in 2000 demonstrated that Internet communication was linked to greater frequency of interaction among friends. Moreover, the results of the PIALP study the following year (2001) showed that IM often is used as a means of initiating dating relationships as well as in their dissolution (see also Lenhart, Madden, & Hitlin, 2005). Moreover, persons use computer-mediated communication (CMC) channels in the day-to-day maintenance of existing relationships (Rabby & Walther, 2003)...
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