Friday, February 9, 2007

Reading for Monday, Feb. 12th

You know the drill. Read S1:U5 in your text and post two interpretive question in the comment section of this post.

You have until 11:59 PM on Sunday February 11th to post.


Cassidy said...

Being anonymous can severely change the way in which we communicate. We may be used to a certain thought about a topic that we are not usually willing to reveal to others. However, it is obvious that if no one knows WHO is expressing this opinion, it’s easier to talk about.

On page 62, anonymity is discussed. There are two different angles on being anonymous. One is positive: being anonymous helps us to break constraints; we are more honest. The other is negative: being anonymous makes us feel free, not only of constraint, but also of responsibility.

When people are anonymous they are not afraid to vote the way they feel, hence, secret ballots. When people are anonymous they are not afraid to hurt some one’s feelings, or say something inappropriate.

I know that in my life time I have been harassed by some one anonymous using CMC: perhaps a blocked prank call or a false screen name. Do you feel that being harassed or made fun of anonymously is more, or less, hurtful than if it were said by some one you knew? Is identity a necessary factor when it comes to hurting or intimidating others?

On page 64, the book discusses conformity. As a society we are constantly forced to decide if we would rather conform or stick out: the style of clothing we wear, the music we listen to, the food we eat, the car we drive, the house we live in, the religion we practice, the school we attend, the team we are on, the idea that we have. The book says that most often, people attempt to strike a balance between sticking out and blending in. It also discusses the fact that it is often easier to give in to conformity, than try to voice you opinion.

After reading this section I began to think about one of the greatest conformity debates: Greek Life. Here at Westminster Greek Life is prominent and popular. 100 girls went through formal rush this year, and the majority of them were picked up. With ten Greek organizations on campus, you are bound to have at least one Greek in each one of your classes. I know that our Electronic Communication’s class has a variety of Greeks and independents.

I know that as a Greek myself I do not feel that I have conformed to my letters, but that I have brought something new and unique to the chapter. However, I can see why many would accuse Greeks of being conformists. We dress alike, cheer alike, spend hours each week together, we buy products in the gift store because our letters are on them, and we attend the same social events.

An essay I found at states that “Greeks are seen as followers, conformists, who joined simply to buy their friends.” How do you feel about conformity in the aspect of Greek Life? What is your perspective as a Greek or independent? How do you feel about the other side’s opinion, and if you were to reverse the situation, how do you think you would feel? The essay brings up a good point, it says that “From the outside looking in you will never understand it, and from the inside looking out you can not explain it.” Try to do so.

Cassidy Neal

Katie's Page said...

On page 60 in the book there was a section on defining social cues. There are two different kinds, static whcih is clothing and hairstyles. The second part is dynamic which is facial expressions and gestures. Within that there are back channels which is, sayinf uh-huh and yeh to let someone know that you are acutally listening to what you have to say. Can you use social cues while communicating online? If so, how would you use social cues while communicating online?

On page 66 there is a definition for interactivity, it explains that messages in sequence realte to each other and especially the extenct to which later messages recount details of earlier messages. It also explains that CMC works well with interactivity because it's an important means of facilitating engagement and help sustaining group membership. Do you think it's possible to relate to a group through the interntet?

Rachael said...

Question #1: Page 62 discusses the role anonymity plays in CMC. Based upon the situation, anonymity can be either positive (free from constraints) or negative (free from responsibility). Through anonymity people can either feel more comfortable communicating because they don't have to be afraid to speak their minds without having to be afraid of people knowing who they are, or they can go to the other extreme where they can be offensive and hurt peoples feelings. I know I have been in a situation before where I was made fun of by someone on an anonymous screen name. How does anonymity fit into your style of communicating? Have you ever been in a situation like mine or been on the other end of the situation where you were the one harassing someone anonymously? How did it make you feel or how do you think it made the other person feel? Are you more likely to speak your mind and really let go because no one will have to know who you are? Have you offended someone before because people don't know who you are?

Question #2: Pages 66-7 discusses online identity and the positive effect CMC has on relationships and feeling connected to people. The book concludes that we don't need FtF communication to feel like we are part of a group, and that we can actually feel more connected to another person through CMC. How would you evaluate this statement? Could there come a point in time where FtF communication is no longer necessary in order to connect with people? Could relationships and social interactions stem only from CMC?


Jill said...

On page 62, the role of anonymity in CMC is discussed. I thought that two effects, positive freedom from constraints and negative freedom from responsibility, were very interesting ways that anonymity can cause differences in the way someone communicates online and face-to-face. I personally find it easier to talk using CMC for a couple reasons. One being the person or group I'm speaking to is unable to see my facial expressions that may imply I'm nervous or upset, and two, I can really think about what I'm going to say to them without having the pressure to answer immediately like with face-to-face communication. Do you think people consciously, or even subconsciously, sometimes make decisions between CMC and face-to-face communication in order to change the mood or direction of the conversation?

The book says conformity can have an affect on communication whether face-to-face or computer mediated. The pressure to comply is sometimes less strong online according to some experiments cited on page 64 of our text. Again this is a tricky, two-sided subject, but I feel this is a good thing because all ideas no matter how outrageous or fantastic can be shared when they might be ignored or not even brought up in a "real conversation." Of course, it also may take longer to reach a consensus or agreement this way because more ideas that are not plausible must be shot down, but should we sacrifice that time for the possibility that the best idea might come out of it? What are the pros and cons that you see of less conformity during a group conversation online?

Anonymous said...

On page 59, the book talks about someone who talked on the WELL community pages often. This really hit me because it seems like this person knows everyone who posts on this message board. How well will people get to know eachother through CMC and what kind of relationships will be made?

On page 62 the book says, "verbal agression occurs four times as much in CMC as in FtF." With this increased agression online, can it change how we communicate FtF. Will people become more agressive with their own opinions or will it be just the opposite?

Tom Benoit

Anonymous said...

on page 66-7 the book says that the people that communicate online can build a better relationship with one another becuase there are no boundries. people are not divided becuase of how they look, what they talk like, where they are from. when online everyone is, for the most part, the same. my question is, doesnt this seem in some way that while CMC is getting people to interact with each other, is this also NOT helping these people conqure their insecurities?

on page 62 the book discusses that when people communicate through CMC, they talk in a more bold manner then they would communicate FtF. with this going on is it fair to say that this actiona may help people to be more bold when tlaking FtF?

-david greig

Anonymous said...

On page 59 they show how a deep commimtment can occur in CMC. Some people value their online relationships more than a normal relationship. How many of you feel that you value your online relationships more than your normal relationships and why?

On page 61 they talk about how nonverbal cues like gestures and facial expressions are important parts of communication. They stated that any communication encounter that nonverbal cues are not possible it will be more tricky. Do you feel that nonverbal cues are essential to commuincation and how does the abscence of theses things affect you in any way?


Brittany Donegan said...

On page 62, the book refers to anonymity causing people to become disinhibited within groups, which can be either a good or a bad thing. People often times become unafraid to say what is on their mind, sometimes causing problems with others in the group. With this in mind, what other problems could occur within group meetings through the use of CMC? What advantages and disadvantages does CMC provide for group meetings? What types of groups would benefit most from meetings through CMC?

On page 63, the book introduces the term ‘polarization’, which occurs when people adjust their views and behaviors to conform to one end of a bipolar continuum. Polarization is of particular interest to researchers of CMC because of its ability to influence mass groups of people at one time. What are some of the ways that CMC is utilized to influence people? What are some reasons that people are so easily influenced by CMC?


Leah's Blog said...

The reading discusses the term polarization which according to the book means, “Adjusting behaviors and opinions so that they are oriented or conform to one end of a bipolar continuum.” How does polarization take place through CMC? Do you believe that polarization occurs more with groups that communicate through CMC or through FTF communication, and why?

The reading discusses groups and the ups and downs of group dynamics. The downsides include; disinhibition, deindividuation, and polarization. In your opinion which has the most negative effect on groups and why. Lastly do you believe groups are more likely to be more productive and efficient through CMC or through FTF communication?

Jamie Rae said...

On page 59, there is a list of reasons that people enjoy CMC. They are: status and self-esteem, confidence, comradeship, inspiration, and generosity. Are there other reasons that people enjoy CMC? If so, what are they?

On page 60, the books talks about how groups are defined. It is interesting to think that social groups are created online, much like they are in the real world. Are online groups really like groups of people face to face? Are there stereotypes of groups online just as there are of groups of people? Are groups online a source of the decay of face to face social interaction?

DJ Yokley said...

On page 62 the auther speaks of CMC anonymity. This happens been a topic I have delt with for months now. Are people safe in a chatroom/Messageboard/online community etc... While that question will conjure up many different answers, my question is this...Do you find yourself debating if it is safe to join a community, or even to join because of a safety issue. Or would you join an OC because of the anonymity that it brings to the user?

Page 59 makes an interesting observation by showing an online relationship through CMC, saying that the boundries are broken when there are no face to face encounters, and the relationships are more in depth. That being said, what advantages and disadvantages do you see with a long-term CMC relationship when opposed by a FtF??

Chris Norris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Norris said...

1. On page 59, Jacob Palme lists a number of reasons wy he thinks people enjoy CMC genres like internet forums. One of his points deals with comradeship and being able to avoid lonlines by communicating with an online friend. Is this a substansial relationship to develop? If you commit time to making an online friend(s) what happens when they just disappear or fail to log on anymore and once again, you are feeling lonely. Does this possibility defeat the purpose of comradeship?

2. Page 62 talks about anonymity and how you dont necessarily reveal your physical identity online. It mentions some positive aspects such as freedom from restraint and negative like freedom from responsibility. I ponder this question: Are there more positive aspects to anonymity or negative aspects? Consider a pedifile for instance, if he can surf the web and stalk young children and remain anonymous, this is definitely a negative. Or, if you are a shy person with bad physical appearance, anonymity can be a positive by allowing you to connect with another person and appeal to them by displaying your inner-beauty rather than being judged by your outter appearance.


Rachel B. said...

1. One major factor in CMC is anonymity, which this chapter talks a great deal about. On page 66 the authors state “In fact, it can be better if people don’t see each other” and on page 67 they say that as a result of anonymity, “we may well end up feeling more connected to the other person than would otherwise be the case.” Do you believe this to be true? Is it possible to feel truly connected to somebody while embracing the concept of anonymity at the same time? Is using anonymity merely a way to avoid “the awkwardness of disapproving looks or raised eyebrows,” as the book implies on page 64? Or is it a valuable part of CMC that has more advantages than disadvantages?

2. On page 61, the book says that “group decisions [in CMC] are therefore often more extreme than in FtF interactions, and people are more likely to become aggressive with each other.” Can you elaborate on the reasons for this, and can you possibly provide examples? Do you believe it has any connection to technology such as IM and text-messaging? Oftentimes people are more willing to be aggressive if they are not communicating FtF with the other person, but what are the downsides of using IM or texting to be aggressive with somebody? What are the advantages, if any?

~Rachel Burkot

Anonymous said...

Referring back to the authors earlier theories that cyberspace is working on filling up the bubble of the ‘real world’…I tend to disagree and like to think that cyberspace and the real world are interchangeable these days. The same theory runs true for the new vocabulary and ideas explained in Unit 5…the ideas such as disinhibition, anonymity, etc. On page 63 it explains that the notions of deinividuation and disinhibition and why social norms and standards of appropriate behavior may disintegrate because of these. Like I stated earlier…I see the cyberspace completely enveloped in the real world. Distinguish, or calculate if you wish, the time frame you feel it will take to coerce everyone including the authors of CMC to believe the real world=cyberspace. The authors obviously feel the communication world is headed in this direction with various clues throughout the book….but how long and what will it take to push them over the edge?

Units 1-4 have explained the skepticism of CMC on actual human to human communication. (For example, the deficit approaches.) But Unit 5 introduces us to a great surge for finding the good in CMC. Box 5:1 explains just a few of CMC’s high points including inspiration, comradeship, confidence, etc. The authors also find people value their online relationships over offline and also find their online relationships help spur up and improve their offline communications. For years before CMC….face to face communication was the main and basic form of communicating. If online relationships can spike offline communicating….how do you compare the years of face to face communication or offline relationships to how we communication online today? Examine how going from offline to online communication has any of the same implications shared with communication going from online to offline relationships as depicted in Unit 5.


Anonymous said...

1. Page 60 talks about reduced social cues and how computer mediation “makes interactions between people much more difficult to manage, and, as a result, conversation becomes less fluid, less easily regulated and altogether more effortful. Social cues involve being able to see clothing, hairstyles, facial expressions, gestures, and being able to hear feedback noises. What do you think of this? And how do you think webcams and being able to see a person while you are talking to them is affecting this?

2. Page 66 says that it may be better to not see some people while talking to them because than you aren’t influenced by differences between the two of you and other physical markers. As a result of this you might feel more connected to the person using CMC rather than FtF conversation. Have you ever found this to be the case in your social interactions? For example, have you felt like you were best friends through instant messenger conversations but barely acquaintances when it came to FtF communication?

Shauna Oles

Anonymous said...

On page 61 the authors discuss nonverbal cues and how this is obviously not possible when using CMC. I know I have had times in the past when I receive an instant message that I am not sure how to take. Were they upset by something I said? Are they joking around? Are they being sarcastic? How did they mean that? This can also occur through emails, chat rooms, blogs, etc. Sometimes I use emoticons to make sure a person knows I am joking, or not upset. How do you attempt to communicate clearly online without being able to use nonverbal cues? Do you feel it is a difficult thing to do?

In the book, on page 62 anonymity is discussed. After reading what the book had to say I thought about the positive and negative affects that anonymity allows individuals within CMC. Anonymity can allow one to express oneself on a chat room or blog without having anyone know who it was. It can however have negative effects as the book discussed, such as freedom from responsibility when one expresses thoughts, opinions, even threats through CMC. Through anonymity people are able to create different identities as well. This can create a multitude of problems in itself. Do you feel that anonymity has personally been helpful or hurtful in your CMC?

Anonymous said...

It is true that anonymity plays a huge role in CMC. On page 62 of our book, it is stated that just because you literally can't see people does not mean that people are necessarity unidentifiable. What does this mean for people who think they are, in fact, anonymous? Maybe the word anonymity should be more clearly identified before people get carried away with expressing their feelings online. Although it is true that just because one can't be seen does not mean their completely anonymous, some people are not clear on the definition. Should internet sites express this definition more clearly before people start blogging or communicating? Do people have the right to report the site if they are not clear on the actual definition of anonymity?

Also on page 62, the book touches on the fact that when people think they're identification is anonymous, they think they tend to "let their hair down, go wild and be really offensive to other people." What would happen if their identification really was not anonymous? Could this cause problems for people... even to such extremes as lawsuits?