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Social Media Research

Communication technology and theory: Research into the interpersonal and social interface

Summary: According to linguistics and pragmatics (Jčrgen Habermas especially), linguistically-mediated interaction is a special form of human communication and interaction. According to the views of his pragmatics of speech, this kind of communication (call it talk if you will) embeds social and cultural normative claims in everyay and interpersonal exchanges. Society is reproduced in daily acts, through use of truth claims stated linguistically and subject to validation or clarification by any one of the interaction partners. What then might social media and other tools of mediated communication do to this exchange? Are the numerous examples of deception, manipulation, insincerity and dishonesty that run rampant online an indication that the medium itself serves our communication needs only poorly? As a means of communication, do our talk technologies rob personal relationships of (some of their) richness, power, and depth? There would be many issues to research here.

What is a communication technology's functional effectiveness

Technologies differ in the degree to which they can effectively transmit our communication. Their differences come down to the mode in which they connect us, the degree to which we are able to verify their effectiveness, the ambiguities they introduce into communication, and more. We tend to develop ways to compensate for their inadequacies, and fashion those into conventions and habits. Designers continuously seek ways to improve technologies, and roll out their improvements with each new version of a device or application. And sometimes the ineffectiveness of a medium itself becomes the focus of play and experimentation-such as the exaggerated or enhanced advertisements and self promotions singles are guilty of in online dating systems.

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