Computer-mediated communication in information and communication technologies

UDC 316
Publication date: 20.09.2017
International Journal of Professional Science № 4-2017

Computer-mediated communication in information and communication technologies

Korolev G.T.
Golovin P.R.
1. Ph.D. Associate Professor
2. Ph.D, Senior Lecturer
Moscow Institute of Cooperation
Abstract: As technologies change, computer-mediated communication forms evolve. Sometimes, for example, new audiovisual capabilities contrast with purely textual ones, while in other aspects convergence is observed, as when many forms merge in one Web browser environment. computer-mediated communication is considered and compared with other communication media through a number of aspects that are considered universal for all forms of communication, including but not limited to synchronism, perseverance or environmental friendliness and anonymity. The relationship of these aspects with various forms of communication varies widely
Keywords: Computer-mediated communication, human-computer interaction, types of communication, electronic text

  1. Introduction.

Technological revolution, which led to the rapid development of ICT in general and computer networks in particular, caused the emergence of an electronic communication environment. Due to the ability to transmit textual information, hypertext became the most important communicative unit, as a special kind of written communication, a form of organization of written text, conditioned by its functioning in the computer environment and characterized by non-linearity of writing and reading processes.

The development of electronic communication is becoming so comprehensive that it becomes necessary to comprehend this phenomenon theoretically. Functional and technological capabilities of electronic text in comparison with printed text are significantly expanding. Among the advantages of electronic text the following opportunities can be identified: ensuring compact storage of large volumes of textual information; realization of almost instant replication and at a high speed of circulation; division of text into smaller segments or merging of several texts into one, creating versions of the text or making changes to it; simultaneous work of a great number of independent users with the text; integration of text with other semiotic systems.

  1. Materials and methods.

In the process of studying computer-mediated communication, the most interesting are theories, approaches and models in which communication is seen as the primary process that coordinates the logical practical actions of a person. A characteristic feature of these transactions between communicants is that they are implemented in a computer environment, through a computer communication channel. At the same time, communication is a mutual reflexive process in which technical means influence the practice of communication, and practice, in its turn, reconstructs the means of communication. This mutual influence of hardware and software tools and practices of computer-mediated communication can be traced to the dynamics of changes in network technologies [1].

At the moment, there are several classification bases for a structured description of different types of computer-mediated communication, but the most common classification is based on the number of communicants participating in communication, communication language, reality or virtuality, synchrony or asynchrony of its course and some other factors.

In the analysis of models and forms of communicative interactions on the Internet, carried out within the framework of the social structure, the researchers often pay attention to the nature of the communication links, which can be strong or weak, which are described through the frequency of contact, the saturation of content, the length of the communication process and network relationships over time, etc. [2]. In academic communication the terms virtual community and professional network community have already firmly established [3].

At the same time, the social space of the Internet, acting as a communicative medium, dictates the emergence of a new paradigm of the relationships of its participants, taking into account not only the variety of technical solutions available to users, but also the multiplicity of contexts of interaction. One of the main functions of communicative interaction in the network is the achievement of the social unity of communicants, while preserving the individuality of each of them. The means of communication between users at the beginning of the development of the Internet were not an end in itself, but were intended exclusively for utilitarian purposes. The increasing role of communication leads to the fact that the person on the web is reduced to a set of verbal messages. It should be noted that the Internet forms a special communicative environment, i.e. the space of realization of the language, which had no analogues in the past. It can be argued that verbal communication, expressed by means of written speech in the form of electronic texts, is a system-forming sign of the entire Internet as a social reality [4, 5].

According to I.N. Rosina, computer-mediated communication is different from human-computer interaction. The latter is characterized by its accuracy, logical foundations and numerous limitations. If a person uses a language other than a computer program, the machine simply does not understand human commands. Even small errors such as extra space or incorrect syntax will lead to the failure of the command by the computer. A computer-mediated communication is, first of all, communication between people while maintaining significant elements of electronic interaction. The Russian term «computer-mediated communication» retains the most approximate version of the English term, as it reflects all three important components — computer, environment and communication. In addition, the skill of computer-mediated communication requires certain training.             I.N. Rosina believes that the basics of electronic communication are formed either on their own experience, or on the example of more experienced users. Communication between users depends on the technical means they have chosen for communication. But at the same time the needs of communication form technological changes in the computer environment [6].

Gradually, the Internet becomes a kind of speech space, serving as a testing ground for creating and testing a wide variety of speech strategies and communication techniques. In this space there is a constant complication of some and simplification of other speech tools associated with the plan of expression, content and plan of pragmatic intentions realized through the Internet. In this communicative space new digital genres appear or old ones are modified all the time. Gradually the Internet turns into a kind of genre-generating environment, where the appearance of each new genre usually becomes one of the signals informing about the emergence of yet another new speech community with a new communicative practice [7].

Considering the process of communication through Internet technologies, it is possible to note the combination of at least two opposite applied communication trends, which are traditionally highlighted in practice: face-to-face communication, human communication, as, for example, interpersonal, organizational communication, communication in small groups, public speaking, etc.; and implying the use of such telecommunications technologies as television, radio, printed press, related to the mass media [8]. And not all means of telecommunications uniquely belong to one category or another, for example, telephone and some Internet technologies support interaction between people, but do not require direct contact. The approach distinguishing these two directions is presented in two learner-centered communication [9] models for the traditional and computer information and communication learning environment.

In constructing the model of the information and communication environment, five features were taken into account: integrative continuity; multiculturalism and multidimensionality; positive redundancy; openness and linguistic orientation. The global Internet is referred to as macromedium, having in view its dimensions, or metamedium, implying the integration of older means of communication with it, providing high reliability, speed and distribution of information and communication between people [10]. Despite the active development of information and communication technologies in the sphere of multimedia, the convergence of various environments, the basis for interaction in the information and communication environment is text. The model of the educational information and communication environment can be considered as object-oriented, in which the objects are: users, interaction rules, events and information objects.

Studying the features of electronic communication, many researchers state that a virtual linguistic personality is extremely creative in the choice and use of linguistic means of communication. This is facilitated by the absence of visual contact, which creates a situation of complete anonymity for its participants.

Sapid language features occur with the functioning of the language on the Internet and from the point of view of psycholinguistics of text, namely, the novelty of its generation and perception. Electronic text is created using the keyboard, and the analogue that appears on the screen is already perceived as a teletext with its gradual unfolding. This leads to a lack of visual and semantic coverage of the entire page, which cannot but be reflected in the processes of perceiving the meaning of the text [11].

The possibilities of hypertext technologies provided by the Web, which caused the transition from the linear form of the letter to the hypertext, also affect the processes of generation and perception of texts on the Internet. Hypertext technologies influence communication in the network, making the recipient a subject in the construction of coherent text, increasing the importance of associative connections, reducing the sharpness of the boundaries of the utterance, which leads to the multivariate nature of the entire communicative process flowing through the network [4]. The graphic and audiovisual factors also take on enormous importance in the web: the possibility of attaching sound or visual information to a textual array using all the design features of modern web technologies leads to rethinking of both the text concept in its linear version and methods of its analysis. Many researchers of the network language also emphasize that the computer text becomes extremely creolized, because for the effectiveness of its perception from the screen, along with textual information, design tools and audiovisual applications are used that are practically available only on the network, and this process affects virtually all the language sectors of the Internet [12].

  1. Results and Discussion.

Computer-mediated communication is polyphonic and combines a large number of different types of discourse and speech practices. Essential factors that affect communication on the network are its anonymity and remoteness. These factors, along with the physical unrepresentation of the participants in communication, the lack of coercive tools, on the one hand, contribute to the strengthening of deviant communicative behavior, since responsibility for acts is reduced to a minimum, and on the other hand, they stimulate violation of the language norm in order to establish and maintain virtual contacts [13]. With computer-mediated communication, there is the problem of constantly creating, maintaining and retaining contact, which requires the maximum mobilization of the language tools intended for this. And this is not only a violation of the language norm. According to the observations of many linguists and according to the data of different languages serving the Internet, performative utterances here acquire an exceptional significance. Many web resources provide their users with additional opportunities to build performative statements. The situation of establishing and maintaining contact leads to communicative innovation [14].

Thus, at present it is necessary to study the influence of the computer environment on the state of modern discourse, since computer-mediated communication is part of the verbal reality, but it is carried out in special conditions and in a special environment. Electronic discourse has a number of significant functional and pragmatic features. Knowledge of the skills of computer-mediated communication is in demand by society in the socio-economic and socio-psychological terms. In the modern professional world focused on ICT, including network technologies, knowledge of the principles and rules of computer-mediated communication is one of the key among the professional qualities.


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