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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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10. Multicommunicating and Episodic Presence: Developing New Constructs for Studying New Phenomena (Jeanine Warisse Turner / N. Lamar Reinsch / Jr.)



Multicommunicating and Episodic Presence: Developing New Constructs for Studying New Phenomena

Jeanine Warisse Turner

N. Lamar Reinsch, Jr.

       “I can’t go into a meeting unless I have this [Blackberry]. I am able to double and triple book myself because people know I can be reached by texting me. People just have to understand that that is my situation. If I couldn’t do that in their meeting, I couldn’t attend their meeting.” (Susan)

       “A friend called me at work to tell me about a personal problem that he had. During the call, a co-worker IM’ed me on my computer to discuss lunch plans for the day. I was able to correspond on IM to finalize plans as well as chat about sports while at the same time listening to my friend. IM allowed me to feel like I was in my office rather than completely, emotionally immersed in the phone call.” (Steve)

       “I often hold multiple conversations at once especially when using technology with slow response times like IM or text messaging. You can use the waiting time to answer the other parties you are conversing with—you can have multiple IM conversations while text messaging.” (Janet)

In what sense does Susan “attend” two or three meetings at the same time? What did Steve mean by “feel[ing] like I was in my office rather than … in the phone call”? Do current communication theories help...

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