Uploaded by Jeff Paduano

Communication in Digital Age

July 27, 2018
Short Paper
Key Communications Technologies
Jeffrey Paduano
Southern New Hampshire University
Communication in Digital Age
Professor Leo Howell
July 27, 2018
July 27, 2018
Key Communication Technologies
With the continuous evolution of technology, we need to quickly adapt with it. The way a
relationship used to be managed before technology is a lot different than the way we do it today.
With computer mediated communication we need to find the fight balance between face-to-face
time and screen time.
My relationship with a co-worker slash friend was built introduced face to face but
sustained primarily using computer mediated communications (CMC). Jady started her time at
out my current workplace around the same time as me about five years ago. Her roles were like
mine and having to work in customer service, we had little time to get up and mingle. This was
primarily because we were always scheduled to take calls and needed to be immediately
available at our desks.
That when we found out that the most effective way to help each other out was by
utilizing instant message. We utilize skype for business since that is the software of choice at our
company. Instant messaging is text based and required little effort to send a message. “IM
exchanges are dyadic, private conversations that commonly occur between people with a prior
relationship.” (Wright & Webb, 2011, p. 128)
I choose this relationship because it is interesting how we have reinforced our
relationship using computer mediated communications and how it has evolved over time from a
co-worker relationship to friendship. The relationship can be sustained thanks to instant
messaging and the casual face-to-face interaction. The processual interactivity between us has
help support use socially.
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Initially our CMC relationship started as tangible support. “Tangible support involved
giving practical, material aid, which allows distressed people to concentrate on more troubling
aspects of their lived.” (Wright & Webb, 2011, p. 121) I believe this because the relationship
started by helping each other out via social media.
When I needed help, and was not confident with my proposed resolution, even though I
was on the other side of the building, I was able to obtain material aid from Jady. Many times, it
was not just informational support but instead brainstorming together for a customized solution
for our customers. We keep each other in check and the support was mutual. “Tangible support
includes taking on responsibilities for someone else so they can deal with a problem or in other
ways taking an active stance to help someone manage a problem they’re experiencing. “
(Elizabeth Scott, 2017)
Tangible support is different from information support because the communication is
mutual and we did not simple drop a solution to each other. However, information support was
still a factor in the early development of our relationship. “Informational support is often
operationalized as attempts to provide people with practical information that will help remedy
their problem.” (Wright & Webb, 2011, p. 120)
Informational support was the stepping stone on how we got to relay on each other for
social support utilizing computer mediated communications. When one of us needed help, there
was little help around us and difficult to get a valid answer due to the competitive environment
created by our leadership at the time. We knew that we needed to help each other our because we
were on different teams and has different goals. This helped build the trust. “Informational
support comes in the form of advice, factual input, and feedback.” (Walther, 2018)
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The two concepts of social support on the other hand support each other in many ways.
Including the fact that they are defined to be a way to help another person and either providing
information or brainstorming together.
Another form of social support that my relationship with Jady has evolved into emotional
support. Emotional support is described to support the feelings of a person. It “encompasses
messages that address a target’s emotional state.” (Wright & Webb, 2011, p. 120) After helping
each other in the work place, the conversations steered into a more personal conversation with
Jady. We learned to know each other better and learn things we had in common. All while still
interacting with each other via instant message.
We started to talk about problems with her boyfriend and I opened about my relationships
status. Being a single father and her a single mother, we helped each other out with parenting
advice. The emotional support was never intended to build an intimate relationship but instead an
escape to reality, a safe zone.
A Human Communication Research article mentioned that “heuristic cues about the
gender of a helper have significant consequences for the interpretations and effectiveness of
comforting messages.” (Spottswood, Walther, Holmstrom, & Ellison, 2013) In my relationship, I
believe that statement is not true and gender plan had no influence in the evolution of our
relationship. Third parties may have observed differently but we think of our relationship more a
brother/sister type.
The last concept that I can apply to my relationship with Jady is Esteem support. “This
type of social support is shown in expressions of confidence or encouragement.” (Elizabeth
July 27, 2018
Scott, 2017) This type of social support motivates us to move forward and helps us keep going
forward no matter what obstacle we encounter.
The support is very rewarding and has influenced ourselves to be a better person in
general. I believe that this type of support is very well complemented with emotional support
because it provides each other to not just satisfy on person’s needs but both. Esteem support
helps us guide each other and stop one another from making mistakes. So, it does intertwine with
informational support and tangible support in this way.
The support and the messages have evolved into highly person-centered messages
because they “recognize people’s feelings, often employing evaluatively neutral messages to
help them articulate, elaborate, and understand their emotions…” (Wright & Webb, 2011, p.
121) Additional research mentioned that “A highly person-centered communication is one in
which the individual explicitly recognizes and legitimizes the feelings of the other distressed
person, elaborates on those feelings, and puts them into a broader context.” My relationship with
Jady has evolved from a low person-centered communication style to a high because we support
each other’s needs no matter what it is without the influence of third parties.
The concepts have taught me to appreciate the type of relationship I have with Jady and
eventually evaluate my other relationship types. I learned the power that instant messaging has
and the importance of immediate feedback when communicating. I am not an easy person to
hang out with and will rarely open my emotions to somebody else due to the harm past
relationships have done to me. Having that relationship where I can express myself freely is a
life saver. These concepts and theories have open the door into analyzing and appreciating every
CMC or face to face relationship.
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Elizabeth Scott, M. (2017, 09 07). Types of Social Support. Retrieved from Very Well Mind:
Renstrom, R. A. (2010). The Impact of Person-Centered Communications. Retrieved from ecommons:
Spottswood, E. L., Walther, J. B., Holmstrom, A. J., & Ellison, N. B. (2013, 07). Person-Centered Emotional
Support and Gender Attributions in Computer-Mediated Communication. Retrieved from
Walther, J. B. (2018, 07 27). ATTRACTION TO COMPUTER-MEDIATED SOCIAL SUPPORT. Retrieved from
Cornell University: https://msu.edu/~jwalther/docs/support.html
Wright, K. B., & Webb, L. M. (2011). Computer-Meditated Communication in Personal Relationships. In
K. B. Wright, & L. M. Webb, Computer-Meditated Communication in Personal Relationships (p.
128). New York City: Peter Lang Publishing.