Computer-mediated communications - Communication Essay Example

Computer-mediated communications

The role of computer-mediated communications in public life has developed a concept where social communications has become more interactive process than ever before - Computer-mediated communications introduction. This could be highlighted by mentioning the growing transmission of information among various subjects like business and politicians, the news media and the public. This process can be regarded as a process flowing down-wards from governing institutions towards citizens. This has also enabled straight linkages among different population of the society. (Tanis, 413-424) It should be taken into account as the main fallout of this technology when it acts upwards from public opinion towards authorities.

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The growth of the information technology sector (IT) in the 1980s was an important development for the economy, but it spurred relatively little policy or media interest. True, IT was recognized as a driver of comparative advantage for the US and there were a few initiatives involving industrial policy and military preparedness, IT was of interest primarily to specialists. In the 1990’s, however, things changed dramatically when the Internet became a topic of intense public discussion. Suddenly computers were not only a way to manipulate information, but also a way to communicate information. This led to a dramatic rise in the public and political awareness of the importance of information policy issues such as intellectual property, privacy, and security. (Xie, 728-750)

A unique union of forces certainly came together in the 1990s: rapid technological advances in the information technology sector; widespread recognition that computers could be used to communicate information as well as process it; the rapid spread of a simple, inexpensive, and powerful wide-area computer network based on non-proprietary standards; and financial institutions ready to fund investment in advanced technology. These forces led to very rapid growth of the Internet. As firms and consumers flocked to the Internet in large numbers, it became evident that information policy issues, including intellectual property, security, and privacy, required serious attention. This alone is applicable to prove the public impact of internet on the population.

The role of computer as a communication tool is excellent. This would include the function of various internet related activities like Websites, E-mails, Blogs, Podcasts etc. and their impact on public life. The IT revolution cuts both ways. It has inspired a boom, but it also intimidates to turn the book world upside down. Commercial publishing benefits are portraying the future of the book in the digital world through the endorsement of e-book application and software. Unspoken in this is an extremely composite and difficult schedule that re-establishes the book as a digital educational relic within a perspective of intellectual property rights management imposed by hardware and software systems. (Brassington, 112)

Simultaneously, we find intellectuals discovering the ways in which the digital medium can increase the customary communication purposes of the printed work, affecting far ahead of factual paraphrases of the pages of printed books into the digital world. In the developed West, the IT revolution is currently shedding shock waves through the world of books. Last year, Google’s anticipated digitization of five big copyright libraries (Oxford, Stanford, Harvard, Michigan and the New York Public Library) endangered the very bone marrow of the copyright business. This in a huge way the public perception on books has changed forever.

During the 2004 as well as on 2009 presidential campaign, Americans witnessed many exciting developments with respect to political uses of the internet; as a result, there were a huge amount of youth participation and engagement into politics. During the months preceding the Democratic primaries, Howard Dean and his campaign staff pioneered new ways of integrating the unique resources of the internet into their campaign strategy, presenting an alternative to the traditional “war room” campaign in the form of what has been termed the new “networked campaign” model. It was all relevant and was easily evoked that the parties concerned, i.e. candidates for president were using the latest technologies available by the use of internet channeling their campaigns into the strata of websites that supplemented traditional campaign website fare. In these websites, the candidates’ biographies were put up along with their electoral issues and statements regarding the issues. Blogs were put into use, which was a phenomenal concept and it came good with time as the younger generation took to the idea immediately along with the traditional concept of campaigning. Alongside multimedia and other interactive techniques were put into good use as a tool of public relation through internet. What is more, online political information also broke into the mainstream media audience in 2004. (IPDI, 8-20)

However, here is a shortcoming of the computer-mediated communications in the context of public perception, it is the small working groups, and often numerous numbers of such sites can make difficultly. Internet tactics are designed to spread rapidly. One tells two friends who tell two others and so on till the numbers reach a highly critical mass. This is the same principle working in real time direct marketing programs. In the ambience of the web, growth is instant and so is the reaction. A good joke spreads to thousands in one day because it is so convenient to click “Forward,” and hit “Send.”  Such is the potential of an Internet program. We have often seen those “distress” messages operating similarly. (Tiene, 227)

When dealing with a web site the respondents might have to enter a site, registering, download a large file, buy things or request free deals. A 100-fold increase in traffic might result in just one day, providing the message is compelling enough and the proposition is motivating. More to the point is whether the advertiser’s server is ready to take this flood.  Is staff ready for this onslaught? If proactive plans are not in place, then the huge response will most likely end up in a backlash. (Manusov, 67-8)

But nevertheless, it is evident that the amount of influence of the internet on today’s mass is extremely substantial and it cannot be overlooked that the potential of this tool as a communicative medium could be significant enough in the near future that could have the potential to topple government and change the fate of a country forever. The only variable remaining is the proper ability and apposite will to indulge into the prospective strength of the internet. It would be clarified is the aspect of race is taken into consideration.

The presence of racism is well documented in many societal domains including workplace, school, health care, and housing. It is very peculiar to consider racism is an ideology where humans are separated into various groups in the belief that some people are superior because they belong to a particular ethnic or national group. It could be summarized that racism is the result of having negative judgments, beliefs, and feelings towards certain identifiable groups. In a general sense, it can be stated that racism is fuelled by different aspects like low education, unfavorable economic condition, social structure that inclined towards a specific religion or cult and most important of all- ill-fated political motivation. The only aspect that can ease racial tensions without loosing racial identity is better understanding and development of knowledge. However, that certainly requires time. Internet can provide a fast solution to this aspect. (Sassenberg, 361-374)

It should be mentioned that the chief reason behind racial problem is mistrust. This mistrust arises from the parameters of low knowledge about the other race. If it was possible to intermingle among all the races, it is certain the aspect of racism would be completely abolished. This is a favorable undertaking to play down the possible racial tension among different cultural and racial groups. It is almost like a plan to implement conflict management techniques where conflict tends to disappear as soon as an individual understands the position of the other and starts respecting the position. The internet should be allowed to operate, as these steps would ultimately ease tensions among races in the end. (DeRosa, 219-232)

Science is the marvel of the present world and modern technologies are application of science to fulfill man’s long cherished dreams to control and manipulate the forces of nature for his relevance. This is the sum total of public perception of the internet. However, at the same time it is also very true that blessings of science depends upon its application. Let us take the example of a bamboo stick, which can be used to make a flute, but the same bamboo stick can also be used to bit a person to death. Modern scientific equipments like computer and internet has no doubt improved living conditions of man and made day-to-day life more comfortable. These devices eased our working conditions, saving time and money and energy, facilitated remote communications, bringing the whole world under one roof, at the same time entertaining and educating us, keeping us informed about all currant affairs, facts and events occurring through out the globe, have proved to be a boon on human life. However, as the famous saying good and bad is sides of the same coin, electronic devices, the outputs of modern technology also cast many adverse effects on human life. (Brown, 2-20)

Now days, with the advancement of technology, particularly computer-mediated communications, man are becoming more and more depended on it. Thus, the whole generation is in jeopardy of losing the Sovereignty of emancipated thought and self-confidence. Instead of all disadvantages, and shortcomings, it can never be denied that modern technology is the out come of man’s tireless hard work, long perseverance. It is a miracle of human mind and gauge for measurement of human development. This is because with such a huge volume of information available on the internet it is obvious that there are unrestricted outflow of information that is otherwise not suited for the general mass. The changes in the Arctic polar ice cap due to global warming are an urgent example of the need for information exchange and people of science to be able to bounce ideas off each other. This quick access and mass connection is the greatest boon of the internet. (Münzer, 663-683) Thus, it can be concluded that modern technology like computer-mediated communications is not only a blessing on humankind but it has completely changed the perception of the public life.

Works Cited

Brassington, Frances & Stephen Pettitt; Principles of Marketing; Edition: 4, Prentice Hall, 2006

Brown, Jo, Amanda J. Broderick, Nick Lee; Word of mouth communication within online communities: Conceptualizing the online social network; Journal of Interactive Marketing; 21, 3, 2-20; Aston Business School, 2007

DeRosa, Darleen M. Donald A. Hantula, Ned Kock, John D’Arcy; Trust and leadership in virtual teamwork: A media naturalness perspective; Human Resource Management; 43, 2-3, 219-232; Right Management Consultants; Temple University; College of Business Administration, Texas A&M International University, 2004

IPDI; Political Influence Online; Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet; The George Washington University; February 5, 2004; Retrieved from http://www.ipdi.org/UploadedFiles/political%20influentials.pdf

Manusov, Valerie Lynn & Miles L. Patterson; The SAGE Handbook of Nonverbal Communication; Sage Publications, 2006

Münzer, Stefan & Anna Borg; Computer-mediated communication: synchronicity and compensatory effort; Applied Cognitive Psychology; 22, 5, 663-683; Saarland University, Germany, 2007

Sassenberg, Kai, Margarete Boos, Sven Rabung; Attitude change in face-to-face and computer-mediated communication: private self-awareness as mediator and moderator; European Journal of Social Psychology; 35, 3, 361-374, Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena, Germany; Georg-August-University of Göttingen, Germany, 2005

Tanis, Martin & Tom Postmes; A social identity approach to trust: interpersonal perception, group membership and trusting behaviour; European Journal of Social Psychology; 35, 3, 413-424; University of Exeter, UK, 2005

Tiene, Drew & Albert Ingram; Exploring Current Issues in Educational Technology; McGraw-Hill, 2000

Xie, Bo; Multimodal Computer-Mediated Communication and Social Support among Older Chinese Internet Users; Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication; 13, 3, 728-750; College of Information Studies, University of Maryland, International Communication Association, 2008

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