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Computer-Mediated Communication in Personal Relationships

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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Preface. (Kevin B. Wright / Lynne M. Webb)

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PREFACE

It began with a simple email: “When you edit a book on CMC in close, personal relationship, let me know. I’d like to contribute a chapter.” Then an email back offering a co-editorship for such a book, and the adventure began. From the beginning, we imagined that the edited volume would offer factual descriptions, based in research and theory, of how individuals employ computer-mediated communication (CMC) to effectively enact their online and offline relationships. Worth noting, we developed all our ideas and framing for this book in what seemed like record time: We were three months from the first email suggestion to a signed contract. Our 12-page proposal envisioned an edited volume of chapters that reviewed cutting-edge research examining how individuals use CMC to enact their personal relationships. The book you hold in your hand achieves that goal. Also worth noting: We communicated about our ideas and framing for the book exclusively via email, including developing the book proposal and the call for chapter proposals. We developed our book describing CMC via CMC.

Our vision for the book. We proposed an edited volume that focused on CMC issues of ongoing importance to interpersonal communication researchers, such as interpersonal perception, privacy issues, and social support. We wanted the volume to provide equal focus on issues that CMC scholars thought important in explaining interpersonal communication online, such anonymity, synchronicity, and channel limitations. In short, we wanted to gather essays that covered the intellectual ground at the intersection...

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