Summary: Internet research on the effect that our use of communication and web tools have on interpersonal communication and society. These sociological perspectives use concepts of face to face interaction taken from symbolic interactionism, especially the work of Erving Goffman. Marshall McLuhan's media theory finds a place here also. To comment on human factors studies and develop a richer understanding of social media, this section looks at the mediation of human communication. What are human factors when they are social factors, communication factors, and interaction factors? Are there implications here for computer mediated interaction research and HCI designers?
When technologies facilitate communication, they are in a sense amplifying our natural senses and perception. It is as if our eyes, ears, and mouths were extended beyond their normal reach and capability. But technologies extend our perceptions asymmetrically. Phones improve our hearing but do little for our vision. Email is used for conversation, but of a kind that lacks the tone and expressiveness of the voice. Thus it makes sense to ask how a technology extends or amplifies the sense, in what mode, and with what kind of results.