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Relationship Equals Sum Media Use: Examining Relationships as Media Ecologies
Unformatted Document Text:  Relationship Equals Sum Media Use 12 be possible to track the decline of a relationship as shared use of media declines. It should also be possible to correlate of media profile data with significant events in the course of a relationship (e.g. living together, engagement, marriage, the arrival of children, demands at work) with resulting insights regarding the course of a relationship. No approach to the study of relationships is a panacea. Still, these methodological advantages complement those associated with other entry points to the study of relationships in ways that these descriptions and the model of Figure 2 only partially suggest. Measurement of relationships from the perspective of participants inevitably focuses on feelings and perspectives. While those perspectives are inevitably a product of communication, they are ultimately a matter of cognition and social psychology rather than communication. Measurement of the characteristics of relationships most often draw on the cognitive intersection of multiple participants, and it is hardly surprising that measurement remains focused of the individual as we explore the interaction effects between their feelings and perspectives. Observation of messages and discourse takes us down into the details of the behavior from which perspectives are drawn and in which feelings and perspectives are enacted. It gives us access to the raw, unfiltered nutrient on which relationships feed, and it should not be surprising that its digestion entails considerably greater effort than the creators of those messages used to create them or the consumers of messages used to process them. A focus on language gives us a usefully abstracted communication view of a relationship in which we can remain focused on the behavior of relational actors but do practical theoretical comparisons of how different kinds of language are used in different kinds of relationships in different cultures. A focus on media adds another layer of abstraction. ... A generalized view of media as an entry point to the study of relationships suggests ways in which other entry points m might be usefully extended: by using media other than the face-to-face medium to study language and discourse. The language associated with such media as e-mail, instant messenger, chat rooms, and computer conferences is already distinctive in obvious ways (the use emoticons, for instance). The media are already widely used by friends and other relational partners in both long distance and propinquitous interaction (students are readily observed instant messaging each other in computer labs even as they chat out loud. Instant messaging should be particularly interesting to those looking for transcripts of relational interaction, as it is trivial for participants to capture and save a time-stamped transcript of their instant messenger sessions.

Authors: Foulger, Davis.
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Relationship Equals Sum Media Use
12
be possible to track the decline of a relationship as shared use of media declines.
It should also be possible to correlate of media profile data with significant events
in the course of a relationship (e.g. living together, engagement, marriage, the
arrival of children, demands at work) with resulting insights regarding the course
of a relationship.
No approach to the study of relationships is a panacea. Still, these methodological
advantages complement those associated with other entry points to the study of
relationships in ways that these descriptions and the model of Figure 2 only partially
suggest. Measurement of relationships from the perspective of participants inevitably
focuses on feelings and perspectives. While those perspectives are inevitably a product of
communication, they are ultimately a matter of cognition and social psychology rather
than communication. Measurement of the characteristics of relationships most often draw
on the cognitive intersection of multiple participants, and it is hardly surprising that
measurement remains focused of the individual as we explore the interaction effects
between their feelings and perspectives. Observation of messages and discourse takes us
down into the details of the behavior from which perspectives are drawn and in which
feelings and perspectives are enacted. It gives us access to the raw, unfiltered nutrient on
which relationships feed, and it should not be surprising that its digestion entails
considerably greater effort than the creators of those messages used to create them or the
consumers of messages used to process them. A focus on language gives us a usefully
abstracted communication view of a relationship in which we can remain focused on the
behavior of relational actors but do practical theoretical comparisons of how different
kinds of language are used in different kinds of relationships in different cultures. A
focus on media adds another layer of abstraction. ...
A generalized view of media as an entry point to the study of relationships suggests ways
in which other entry points m might be usefully extended: by using media other than the
face-to-face medium to study language and discourse. The language associated with such
media as e-mail, instant messenger, chat rooms, and computer conferences is already
distinctive in obvious ways (the use emoticons, for instance). The media are already
widely used by friends and other relational partners in both long distance and
propinquitous interaction (students are readily observed instant messaging each other in
computer labs even as they chat out loud. Instant messaging should be particularly
interesting to those looking for transcripts of relational interaction, as it is trivial for
participants to capture and save a time-stamped transcript of their instant messenger
sessions.


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