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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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18. Speculating about Spying on MySpace and Beyond: Social Network Surveillance and Obsessive Relational Intrusion (Makenzie Phillips / Brian H. Spitzberg)



Speculating about Spying on MySpace and Beyond: Social Network Surveillance and Obsessive Relational Intrusion

Makenzie Phillips

Brian H. Spitzberg

Every technological innovation provides an opportunity for insight into the process of human evolution. The reliable and efficient production of fire opened the doors of night, provided for the safer consumption of foods, and enabled various pursuits of protection from enemies large and small. The invention of the printing press significantly collapsed the geography and accumulation of knowledge distribution, and helped spark the renaissance and rediscovery of ancient wisdom. The invention of telegraphy and telephony in turn collapsed both space and time by promoting the approach to synchronous interchange across distances. The invention of television vastly expanded the communicative spectrum to nonverbal and empathic dimensions of possibility, as well as facilitating the exportation of culture at all levels of imagination. As the pace of technological change continues to accelerate, there is little doubt that communicative technologies will continue to play a pivotal role in pushing, changing, and transforming the boundaries, and perhaps even the nature, of human relationships.

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