[Air-L] CMC - mobile phones included?

Andrea Guzman aguzma31 at uic.edu
Tue Jul 16 08:38:24 PDT 2013

Hello Darja and everyone else,

I think there are multiple questions within the original query.

Most of the replies I have seen tackle the "mediated" part of CMC. I agree
that this term no longer fits because we also communicate with our
machines not simply through them. The focus of my research is on this
aspect of communication "with" our machines that occurs both concurrently
in our communication with humans (i.e. using Facebook, sending a text,
etc) and in our direct interaction with machines (i.e. Siri, AI, etc). As
of now, I refer to my research area as "human-machine communication." This
term is by no means elegant and, as other people have pointed out, has
industrial connotations. I use the term "machine" instead of computer or
technology, however, because it is more inclusive. Darja, if you are
interested in communication with machines you may want to consult the
cybernetics tradition within communication research.

There is also the "computer" question: Does a mobile phone qualify as a
computer for the purposes of CMC? To that my response is, "Which mobile
phone?" Contemporary mobile phones are actually "mobile devices" with
multiple technological layers and, arguably, resemble mini-computers more
than they do phones. Recent literature on mobile technologies and the
history of the mobile phone discusses these different aspects.

Another way to approach your question is to look at the specific
activities you are studying (text, phone calls) and to consider how they
have been treated in the literature in the past or to look at
corresponding activities on the (desktop?) computer i.e. instant
messaging, etc.

Good luck!

Andrea L. Guzman, M.A.
PhD Candidate
Department of Communication
University of Illinois at Chicago
aguzma31 at uic.edu

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