Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication
Due to new features that were brought by computer-mediated communication, society experienced a lot of changes. The main point is that these changes led to new media challenges with which have to face traditional communication techniques of both intercultural and interpersonal levels. From these two perspectives, new media impacts both the form and the content of communicated messages. Additionally, it has also a strong impact on the complex level and manner of how people understand communication information, because new communication that provides globalization influences strongly diverse cultural and ethnic groups. Therefore, such computer-mediated communication as Twitter, Skype, FaceTime, Facebook and other forms of social media directly affect interpersonal and intercultural communication by reducing a gap between cultural and ethnic groups, educating language skills and abilities, improving people’s adaptation, establishing business relationships and by refining interpersonal and intercultural communication skills.
Computer-mediated communication leads to new cultures’ development as a result of differences’ creation between traditional communication techniques and modern techniques that were provided by new media. Before a new social media, a general synchronization was provided between non-communication innovations and traditions in society (Chen, 2012). Nonetheless, with the dynamic communication development, traditional techniques could not handle new cultures’ pace that resulted from new media. In the end, different impacts on the communication from different perspectives completely changed both intercultural and interpersonal communication. Social media provides people around the world with the ability to represent themselves in different manners, while staying connected in virtual online communities (Chen, 2012). It is critical to notice that information flexibility that is shared in new media has a direct positive and negative impact on the intercultural and interpersonal relationship development even in virtual communities with different personal connections networks’ creation (Chen, 2012). Still, a positive impact is greater in comparison with some negative consequences, because new social media managed to lead interpersonal and intercultural communication on a completely new level that helped to handle many difficulties and challenges with which people were faced before.
One of the positive issues that brought new media has been the gap reduction between various cultural and ethnic groups. New media promotes the trend of globalization that directly impacts society members and individuals in their behavior in such a way that they are able to interact with people from various cultural backgrounds (Chen, 2012). It is under this circumstance, such social networks as Skype, Twitter, Facebook and others have led to the switch from traditional cultural maps, grammar, themes that resulted in the change of traditional cultural issues. The worldview or cultural patterns restriction or rearrangement demands culture members to realign their communication behavior in their own community and to learn new interaction ways with people from different cultures (Al-Khaddam, 2013). The main idea is that computer-mediated communication leads to a new culture development in human society in which uncertainty and ambiguity degree have gained its highest rate, especially in the intercultural communication process. A great challenge for the practical interaction need in everyday life is how to adjust again to this new situation and reach the mutual understanding goal for people from various cultural groups on this chaotic stage (Al-Khaddam, 2013).
Hence, through social media, people begin to change their ways of communication in order to gain positive contact with people from different cultures. In this way, the gap between various ethnic and cultural groups reduces, because all sides try to accept these differences and gain a contact. The main point is that people improve through social media their interpersonal and intercultural communication by interacting in the diverse conditions when for the effective communication cultural and ethnic dimensions are not critical. They learn how to communicate with other cultures and ethnic group members by paying extra attention to the specific cultural issues and showing the respect to some cultural norms and rules (Al-Khaddam, 2013). Such attitude only strengthens intercultural communication across the world. Therefore, it is possible to note that new social media helped people to handle the gap between different cultural and ethnic groups’ members by developing the diverse virtual reality and by promoting an emphasis on the specific cultural issues that have to be respected to establish new connections.
The positive impact of computer-mediated communication is expressed through the foreign language perspective in the intercultural and interpersonal relationship development. In general, social media has a strong impact on the language in the communication process. The main point is that the surrounding everyday words impact the words people use in general (Chen, 2012). Hence, since people see so much written languages on gadgets, the language has now evolved through its interaction with technology, and, in turn, it impacts interpersonal and intercultural communication (Chen, 2012). Social media is widespread across the world, and, as it was already mentioned, it includes people with different cultures and from various countries and regions. Hence, computer-mediated communication includes various languages, and people see them every day. Moreover, with reaching some visual information and having some connections with people across the world, people receive indirect impact on language skills. They simply remember languages from the visual perspective, and, in the communication process, they receive some additional knowledge, because for interaction, they have to use translation or some specific programs (Chen, 2012). To ease this learning process, social media often includes some tools to help people in understanding each other from the global perspective. Hence, it was found that students have experienced a positive effect of social networking on learning foreign languages. Students mentioned that they follow professional foreign language teachers and different facilities on social media that were used for improvement of speaking skills (Bicena, Sadıkoglub, & Sadıkoglub, 2015).
Also, it was found that social networks have many tools for language improvement (Bicena et al., 2015). At the same time, such indirect impact on language skills influences positively intercultural and interpersonal communication. New media has brought increased participation and competence degree in intercultural communication. Due to the language skill improvement, people feel more confident in new connections and relationship establishment, because they are sure that they will be able to understand other people. The main point is that social media helps to improve language skills and abilities that, in turn, help people to establish new connections across the world due to the gained confidence (Chen, 2012). Hence, it was found that in study abroad and foreign languages contexts that the blogging use not only showed the positive effect on the intercultural relationship development, but also increased participants’ intercultural communication competence degree (Elola & Oskoz, 2009). Therefore, intercultural and interpersonal communication is improved due to better language knowledge, because people not only better understand each other, but they also feel more comfortable and confident.
Additionally, to the participation in the cultural and personal level, social media is very helpful in establishment of business relationship, both on the local and on the international levels. First, social media helps in better communication with customers, despite their location (Chen, 2012). The main idea is that intercultural and interpersonal communication in the business area becomes much easier due to computer-mediated communication. Social media helps to increase the customers’ circle and to establish with them business connections without any difficulties. Taking into consideration different cultural dimensions, language issues and another specific moment, it is possible to establish relationships not only with customers but also with new business partners (Chen, 2012).
Moreover, through social networking, companies successfully attract customers and business colleges across the world and interact with them easily that, consequently, helps to develop more business relationships from the global perspective. Through social networks, it is possible to provide self-representation of private organization that will attract people across the world and will not only improve the interaction process, but also will provide effective company’s image. Such self-representation in social networks can be done through profile creation (Chen, 2012). In this way, customers and potential business partners will have more detailed information about the organization and will understand better how to communicate. The same process is provided from the organization’s side, because social media not only provides more abilities to interact with various people around the world, but also gives more information about a needed person or organizations that, in turn, makes interpersonal and intercultural communication easier and effective in the business area (Chen, 2012). Therefore, social media has a strong positive impact on intercultural and interpersonal communication establishment in the business area due to self-representation abilities and chance to provide effective interaction despite the location.
Also, computer-mediated communication promotes the virtual cosmopolitan environment development that helps to improve adaptation process among people from different countries. Therefore, with such cosmopolitan spaces’ creation, people can interact in there hail from various cultures and can gather different cultural and personal backgrounds among themselves in the process of strong online intercultural communities’ building (Croucher, 2011). New media provides people with an ability to exchange information from the global perspective and foster individuals’ understanding from different cultural backgrounds. In the result, new media is highly popular among immigrants and travelers, because it means the ability to have contact with relatives, friends, and colleges from different countries, which indeed improves the adaptation process (Croucher, 2011).
Hence, computer-mediated communication helps people to establish a social connection in new environments comfortably and to expand their social circle to the global relations. Many types of research were done on the topic how international students use social media and its effect on their intercultural adaptation. It was found that social media rapidly develops the environment for interaction students to connect with people as from their homes, as from the host countries that in the result seriously help them to strengthen their personal relationship and to develop the belonging sense to the host country (Sawyer & Chen, 2012). New social media use helps international students to handle cultural barriers in the intercultural adaptation process (Croucher, 2011). Also, due to the cultural shock influence, people tend to rely more on social media on the arriving stage to the host country to keep in touch with people they know from their home country to feel safe and comfortable in the new environment. The main point is that social media helps to establish interpersonal and intercultural communication that is very critical for the successful adaptation process. It is one of the most critical issues regarding social media impacts on interpersonal and intercultural communication, because, in the modern conditions of strong international ties, people’s effective adaptation to the new environment is highly crucial (Sawyer & Chen, 2012). Therefore, the ability to communicate as with own family and friends, as with people from other countries makes a person feel more comfortable in new conditions that, in turn, helps this person to adapt as soon and effective as possible through computer-mediated communication.
Also, the positive impact of social media on intercultural and interpersonal communication is expressed through promotion of more active and effective communication. The main point is that social networking can be very helpful in developing interpersonal relationship, because it provides people with more abilities to communicate with others in comparison with real-life communication. The main point is that virtual world helps people to interact with other easier due to the anonymous communication (Chen, 2012). For many people, such interpersonal communication can lead to the meaningful and long-term trusting relationship. In general, many people have some difficulties in interpersonal communication due to many factors, including natural shyness or lack of confidence. Hence, for such people, social media opened new possibilities for interpersonal and intercultural communication. People usually feel more free in virtual communication and forget about all their difficulties, because they realize that other people do not know many issues. In this case, the interaction process is much easier and smooth, because people simply do not afraid to express themselves and to show their real character due to the anonymity.
Therefore, this issue leads interpersonal and intercultural communication to a new level due to more active interaction in virtual spaces in comparison with real-life communication (Chen, 2012). People in these conditions are not afraid to begin the relationship with other participants from different countries and with various cultural background. Moreover, they are not afraid to express their opinions if they are different from other positions. Such attitude is very helpful, because through social media, they learn how to interact effectively in reality. Therefore, this is another highly critical issue in computer-mediated media impacts on intercultural and interpersonal communication, because it provides people with more abilities to improve their communication skills for the real-life interaction and to find new friends with similar interests across the world.
Overall, it is critical to notice that computer-mediated communication has a strong impact on intercultural and interpersonal communication. All these innovations in digital media can be as positive, as negative, but still, positive issues are more valuable than negative consequences. Hence, the first positive impact that can be seen in interpersonal and intercultural communication due to social media is a gap reduction among various cultural and ethnic groups. Through such social networks as Twitter, Skype, FaceTime, Facebook and other forms of social media, people are able to forget about their cultural differences or instead to pay attention to them and express own position. The next positive issue is the foreign language improvement that, in turn, provides effective intercultural and interpersonal communication.
Another point through which social media provides a positive influence on interpersonal and intercultural communication is a strong relationship and interaction establishment, particularly, in the business area. Another issue is a cosmopolitan environment establishment in social media that leads to the better adaptation process due to the ability to communicate effectively as with family and friends, as with other people across the world. The last issue is a positive impact that is expressed through the ability to improve communication skills and to find new friends. As mentioned above, the rapid development of computer-mediated communication has a great positive impact on interpersonal and intercultural communication.