Lack of Context Cues
When reading about the theory's of CMC (Computer mediated Communication) in regards to its inherent differences from face-to-face interaction, I was most interested in the lack of social context cues theory. This theory pertains to online communication and how most, if not all context is lost in internet or text based communication. Not being able to pick up on, or see others non-verbal cues leads people to make assumptions or misunderstand the message being sent. The author notes that in this type of communication exchange, people tend to become, "self-absorbed and less inhibited" (Griffin,138). I have noticed that in emails, Instant messages or text messages. I become much more gutsy than I would in person, often saying things I would never normally say, or saying them in a way that is out of character for me. The author defines this as, "flaming- hostile language that zings its target and creates a toxic climate for relational growth" (Griffin, 139). "Lost in Translation," comes to mind when I think of this theory and virtual communication in general. Many things can be lost in translation from email to email, text to text and so on. A few of the things that can be lost in translation through textual or virtual interactions are: sarcasm, silence, pausing, laughter, a sigh, body language and many other cues that help us communicate better with one another. Don't get me wrong, I do not think virtual communication is all bad, but there are certain things that are better to relay in person than others. You just have to be very aware that misunderstandings are more likely than not to occur. In turn, that awareness will help you to be more clear and ask more questions in order to have a better communication interaction.