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'IM Me': Instant Messaging as Relational Maintenance and Everyday Communication
Unformatted Document Text:  Instant Messaging, Page 31 connections make it possible for individuals to remain on-line browsing and working on the Internet for extended periods of time with other programs running in the background. This may produce different types of interactions with respect to their length and characteristics than those reported on in this study. Future research should consider the influence of this structural feature (i.e., type of connection) more closely. In summary, the results indicate that the use of IM as a relational maintenance tool is fairly common and used quite frequently to maintain different relationships. The results of the present study complement and extend previous research on relational maintenance and everyday communication. They also provide support for contemporary CMC perspectives that emphasize the role of individuals and relationships over that of technology especially beyond developmental stages of relationships. Consistent with these approaches, the results of the present study suggest that messaging programs allow individuals to communicate and sustain social connections much in the same manner as they do FtF but only through a new means.

Authors: Ramirez, Artemio. and Broneck, Kathy.
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Instant Messaging, Page 31
connections make it possible for individuals to remain on-line browsing and working on the
Internet for extended periods of time with other programs running in the background. This may
produce different types of interactions with respect to their length and characteristics than those
reported on in this study. Future research should consider the influence of this structural feature
(i.e., type of connection) more closely.
In summary, the results indicate that the use of IM as a relational maintenance tool is fairly
common and used quite frequently to maintain different relationships. The results of the present
study complement and extend previous research on relational maintenance and everyday
communication. They also provide support for contemporary CMC perspectives that emphasize
the role of individuals and relationships over that of technology especially beyond developmental
stages of relationships. Consistent with these approaches, the results of the present study suggest
that messaging programs allow individuals to communicate and sustain social connections much
in the same manner as they do FtF but only through a new means.


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