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Nothing to LOL About: Digital Natives and the Effects of Texting

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The following is a student presentation from the Summer 2012 "Media Psychology and Influence" course taught as part of the SPICE Study Abroad program at Universitat Erfurt. In this course, students were asked to propose a theoretically- and practically-relevant research model about one facet of media psychology and communication. Read more about SPICE: http://www.uni-erfurt.de/kommunikationswissenschaft/studium/bachelor-kommunikationswissenschaft/spice/

ABSTRACT: Digital technology has become a common channel for communication. This paper proposes the need to further study the long-term effects of digital technology on digital natives. Research suggests that digital technology has a direct effect on digital natives’ nonverbal communication skill. Two theories that explain the proposed direct effect between digital natives and poor nonverbal skills are the displacement hypothesis and brain development in digital natives. We propose two factors which explain why digital natives are showing a lack of nonverbal capabilities: the usage of text messaging and personality type could influence digital natives’ nonverbal communication skills.

Publicada em: Tecnologia, Negócios
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Nothing to LOL About: Digital Natives and the Effects of Texting

  1. 1. By: NOTHING TO LOL ABOUT: Christine Devlin (WVU)DIGITAL NATIVES AND THE EFFECTS OF TEXTING Enya Messersmith (WVU) Caitlin Rose (Texas) Meredith Donaldson (OU)
  2. 2. WHY STUDY DIGITAL NATIVES AND THE EFFECTS OF TEXTING?Cellphones are the primary source of communication especially among digital nativesCellphones limit the amount of nonverbal communicationDiminishing nonverbal skillsDifficulty maintaining personal and professional relationships
  3. 3. IT’S NOT THAT SIMPLENonverbal skills are affected by more than just texting Personality Usage
  4. 4. DIGITAL NATIVES & NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION Who are digital natives?  People who are born into the digital world (Prensky, 2011).  native speakers Nonverbal Communication  The various ways people communicate without language  i.e. eye behavior, touch, body movement, facial expressions.  Nonverbal communication is a learned skill (Riggio, 2006).
  5. 5. DIMINISHED NONVERBAL ABILITIES Why are digital natives showing a lack of nonverbal skills?2 theories  1. Displacement hypothesis  2. Brain Development
  6. 6. DISPLACEMENT HYPOTHESIS Definition  Schramm studied children and television  More time spent w? activity A = less time spent w/ activity B Displacing FtF communication w/ digital comm.  Nonverbal communication is a skill  Practice=perfect
  7. 7. DEVELOPMENT Mullen  neural pathways necessary in the development of interpersonal skills = unstimulated and underdeveloped Small & Vorgan: Ibrain  digital technology is rewiring our brain and altering how we behave  Altered behavior- learning differently  Focus on technological skills NOT fundamental social skills Iacoboni: Mirror neurons  Neural network  Nonverbal cues  Developed w/ FtF experience
  8. 8. HYPOTHESIS H1: Digital natives have deficient nonverbal communication skills. What’s the problem?  Not every digital native lacks nonverbal communication. Why are some digital natives able to pick up on nonverbal cues better than others?  Personality  Access to mobile phone usage
  9. 9. MODERATING EFFECT OF PERSONALIT YPersonality predicts nonverbal ability Extroversion Enjoy human interaction Talkative, enthusiastic, assertive, outgoing Introversion keep to themselves, less outspoken
  10. 10. EXTROVERTS Extroverts are better communicators Extroverts display less communication apprehension Communication Apprehension (CA)  Defined (Introverts)  “Broadly based anxiety related to oral communication” (McCroskey, 1970)  Level of fear associated with real or anticipated communication with another person  Leads to avoidance behaviors, social isolation
  11. 11. EXTROVERTS VS INTROVERTS AND THEIR BEHAVIORS Extroverts tend to have more friends  Extroverts spend more time in face-to-face communication  Therefore extroverts practice nonverbal skills more often than introverts
  12. 12. HYPOTHESIS H2: Digital natives who are more extroverted have better nonverbal communication skills. People who have extroverted personalities are likely to have more friends which allows them more opportunity to practice their nonverbal communication skills.
  13. 13. USAGE OF TEXTINGThe amount of texts influence NV communicationDigital Natives who text more frequently lose time that could be spent on face to face communication
  14. 14. SMS Defined  Cue Lean  Texts lack nonverbal signals History  Designed for task, used as social  One does not need NV for task based communication (it actually gets in the way) however, texting is now used as a social communication  “I was a young engineer working on new communications technologies. We thought texting was a clever way for a companys staff to send simple messages to one another. Id never have predicted that it would spread into the consumer world and become what it is today. At the time it didnt seem like a big deal” (Silver, 2011).
  15. 15. MORE TEXTING LESS FACE TO FACE Digital Natives prefer texting  The number of texts being sent is on the rise, especially among teenagers age 13 to 17. According to Nielsen, the average teenager now sends 3,339 texts per month. (Parr, 2010) "I think thats pretty bad because I think when these kids grow up and its time to form their permanent relationships, theyre not going have any idea how to communicate with another person. No idea. Theyre going be texting their spouses from different rooms," said a worried Virginia mom Cost efficient and more convenient
  16. 16. HYPOTHESIS H3: Digital Natives who text more will have decreased ability for NV skills Even Psychiatrist Dr. Lise Van Susteren agrees that texting is an emotionless thing . (The Money Times, 2012) The more a digital native texts predicts a decrease in the amount of face to face communication which will then decrease the suf ficiency of their NV skills
  17. 17. UNLIMITED TEXT MESSAGING PLANUse of text messaging is a function of how accessible it isDifferent phone plans offer varying degrees of accessibilityUnlimited plans see more texting
  18. 18. HYPOTHESISH4: Digital natives with an unlimited text messaging plan will send more text messages .
  19. 19. SUMMARY
  20. 20. THEORETICAL MODEL Unlimited Texting Plans Amount of Texting Digital Nonverbal Native Behavior Extroversion/ Introversion