Language and Linguistics

Computer mediated communication

Computer mediated communication with explanation

Computer mediated communication

Computer mediated communication is also called new medial by some authors and give much importance to it in recent days.

Characteristics of computer mediated communication (CMO)

The first observers of the CMO indicated that the computer media transmitted much less communication signals between the speaker and the audience than those of face-to-face communication. Email lists, for example, allow communication via text from an invisible speaker to an invisible audience of undetermined size and composition. The email and many forms of CMO that follow it, hide the visible signs of gender, race and age, prevent picking up signals associated with the way people dress and eliminate a wide range of nuances normally added through communication. voice, hand gestures and body language. Unless explicitly stated in the messages, the status and origin of the speaker are also invisible. At first all this seems like a terrible loss, especially for the person who loses status because of the impossibility of being seen. But nevertheless,

A key aspect, even a benefit of the CMO, is the way in which the message can be separated from the keys that are firmly linked to face-to-face communication , particularly those that relate to individual identity and context. Together with the separation, the CMO can also be combined and used in a way that allows regrouping what is appropriate in the new scenario ( Haythornthwaite and Nielsen, 2006). This is a particularly remarkable point to address issues of shyness, shame, shifts or remote participation in e-learning contexts. While it is possible to try to re-enter all the keys of a face-to-face scenario, for example through multiple video channels from different sites, a rush to recreate the many signals can lose the benefits that a skinny, based context confers in text, asynchronous. Such benefits include the ability to post simultaneously, after reflecting and putting thoughts in text, a major mode of communication in learning and education.

Both the face-to-face context and the CMO allow different possibilities [ affordances ] for communication, but both have their own merits for communication results, but both have their merits for communication results. Face-to-face communication in small groups allows a wealth of communication keys that provide multiple types of information about others. Opting for CMO allows / enables the selective presentation of signals that provide control over the type of information that is communicated to others. Anonymity, or the relative possible anonymity when several signals are lost on an individual, is one of the possibilities of the CMO.

Apart from anonymity, the way that the CMO allows asynchronous communication (at any time), mobile communication (anywhere) that potentially connects extensively with other people (anyone), both locally and globally. New ways of capturing data, such as digital and communication cameras, such as blogs and blog comments, allow for quick update and aggregation of information. Everything is recordable and in 2045 we can record our entire lives in high definition and 3D techniques.
The possibilities of CMO technologies, be it e-mail, bulletin boards, wikis, chat or video, create opportunities for conversation, learning and creation of knowledge and common intentions, just as you can and make the conversation face to face. But with everything, the conditions are different. The awareness of the differences and possibilities helps in the planning of their adoption and use, as well as in the recognition of where changes are taking place outside the context of traditional learning that will affect learning supposedly in “closed classroom” (eg, how they enter the laptops in the classroom).

The computer and communication

In recent years, computing has evolved at great speed. It has managed to create personal computers with a computing power, a storage capacity and a speed that we could not imagine just a few years ago. On the other hand, telecommunications have also advanced a lot. New satellite communication systems have been created, digital telephone lines are being implemented, optical fiber is used to gain speed, and so on.

With the communications incorporated into computing, the physical limitations of the personal computer have been broken. At this time, anyone can obtain information on computers from anywhere in the world, in addition to keeping in touch with others through different means, such as email, online conversation and videoconferencing.

Communication between computers can be done in various ways, depending on the objective you want to achieve. Some of these forms are direct connection of computers and connection via modem.

Local networks

Computers connect with each other by means of cables that go from one computer to another. This system is called LAN (Local Area Network or Local Area Network). Local area networks are often used where distance is limited, such as a building or even several nearby buildings.

This system provides great advantages such as:

  • Improve communications. A network allows you to send messages and information from one computer to another immediately.
  • Share the information. The information of the organizations is stored in a main computer called server, in this way, all users use the same information and it is always updated.
  • Share peripherals. All devices that are installed on a computer on the network can be used by all users.
  • Improve security Local area networks establish security levels so that no one can access the information. Users need a password to connect and work on the network.


The Internet is a set of thousands of networks around the world that are connected to each other.

The Internet name derives from the English words Interconnected Networks. All the networks that make up the Internet offer their information to the users who connect and transfer their lines so that they can consult that information anywhere in the world. For example, we can consult information found on a computer in Mexico and with a simple click access the data that is stored on a computer in the United States of America. The information travels through the network at high speed, in a few seconds we can see hundreds of documents that are on the other side of the world. The great speed of the Internet has served to earn the qualification of the information highway.

Other of the many advantages offered by the Internet, as we have already mentioned, is the communication between people through different electronic means such as that which is a service that allows Internet users to send and receive messages and attach files, when a User wants to send an email to another, you must indicate the address of the recipient, write the message you want to send, attach one or more files if you wish and click on a button for that message to travel throughout the network (up to destination) Likewise, the user has a button that allows him to collect the mail that other Internet users have sent him, when a message arrives and the recipient is not connected to the network, the message is stored in a mailbox so that when connect can retrieve it.Each email user has a unique address, the email addresses have the following format:

 Online conversation

Online conversation (or chat) allows you to send messages and have a conversation with other users who are connected to the network at the same time. In addition, we can use this system to send files over the Internet. using instant messaging, such as: Windows Live Messenger that was currently changed to skipe, Yahoo! Messenger, Jabber / XMPP or ICQ, among the best known, or also the mobile phone SMS service. Currently Google Orkut has an online Chat service   . The web chat method is also widely used,  which is nothing more than sending and receiving messages through a dynamic Internet page.

Video conference

Videoconferencing is another means by which, thanks to technology, we can maintain communication with others using the multimedia combination of image, sound and text). It is necessary to have the necessary hardware and software to be able to see, hear and talk with others while online. At present it is easy to use this medium, since there are very cheap video cameras that are placed above the computer in addition to a microphone and speakers.

Videoconferencing is being used both in organizations and in educational institutions due to the enormous advantages it offers by allowing us to interact with others in real time. For example, in the case of educational institutions, teachers and students who are located in different geographical areas can hold a talk on a particular topic without having to physically meet in the same place.


We have already mentioned what e-mail consists of, as well as online conversation and videoconferences; we could realize that everyone agrees that they serve us to communicate with other people, however, it is important that we use the most appropriate of them according to our needs, for example, if we want to send a document to be read by another person , or a message of which we do not require an immediate response, then we use email but if what we need is to have a conversation where two or more people are interacting, then we can resort to the online conversation or to the videoconference depending on the case.

If we compare the communication through the computer against traditional media, such as mail, telephone, etc., we see that the former turn out to be faster and cheaper than the latter, in addition to the former we can access a greater amount of information . All this leads us to establish better and greater communication with others regardless of distances.

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