[Air-l] Re: synchronous/asynchronous

Christian Nelson cnelson at comm.umass.edu
Mon Mar 4 13:28:35 PST 2002

Sherri Condon wrote:

>  The complexities that you all have been describing have led us to define synchronous
> communication as interaction in which messages are produced with the expectation that they will be
> processed and responded to immediately vs. asynchronous communication in which it is anticipated
> that there will be unpredictably long
> delays between the exchange of messages.

I was working toward this in my last response to this thread. From a technical perspective, there's
always some kind of lag, but it isn't going to be perceived unless that lag is not constant. But as
Sherri's definition implies, and as other research I've seen suggests, just because a technology
creates unpredictable lag lengths doesn't mean users will perceive the lag lengths as unpredictable.
I suspect that people don't do so because they are bound and determined to perceive internet
communication according to a perceptual model derived from face-to-face communication systems and
the like.
--Christian Nelson

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