Key Communication Technology Theories
The relationship that I have with my best friend is one of the most influential aspects of my life. He has been my friend since childhood and I have shared a lot of experiences with him. We started school together, have been classmates all through our school lives, we come from the same neighborhood and go to the same church. We have also been influential in each other’s lives regarding academics, behavior and the way of thinking among other aspects. We have also helped each other in many situations to overcome any challenges that any one of us was facing. Despite the fact that I have had many relationships in my life such as with my family members and other people in the society, I chose to analyze this one involving my best friend in this assignment. The main reason for selecting it relates to the influence that it has had in shaping my life.
The analysis of this relationship involves the utilization of various key communication technology theories. One of the key communication technology theories relates to Uses and Gratification theory. According to Ifinedo (2016), this theory is an audience-based approach and seeks to establish why people tend to seek out media and how they utilize it for communication. The similarity that it shares with other communication theories is that it assists in understanding the nature of relationships that people have in the society. The main difference that it has with others relates to the fact that it involves media use in its approach to analyze a relationship. This theory applies to this relationship since we sometimes use the appropriate type of media such as calling through our phones when far from each other. This theory has taught me to use the effective means of means of communication in this relationship even when we have the distance barrier. This has also been the same case in other relationship such as in the case of family members where I can, for instance, call my mother to inform her about how I am doing in school.
Social penetration theory is also effective in analyzing this relationship. This theory posits that as relationships develop, communication also transforms from just involving superficial topics or thoughts to intimate and personal ones (Panos, 2014). It is similar to other theories since it focuses on the nature of communication in any relationship. It, however, differs from the other theories in the way it tends to establish that the type of communication is dependent on the stage of a relationship. This theory applies to this relationship since initially, we could not talk about private subjects, but as the trust for each other developed, we now disclose even secrets about ourselves. The theory has taught me to communicate freely with my friend as confiding in him helps me to solve various personal challenges that I may be facing. It has also helped me to communicate in other relationships by identifying the level of trust with a certain party and thus understanding the things that I can talk with them.
Social information processing theory is also applicable in analyzing this relationship. It explains how people use communication through computerized devices to establish interpersonal impressions and how they promote relational communication with time (Walther, 2008). The similarity of this theory with others lies in the fact that it expounds on how communication takes place in a relationship. The differences between them relate to how it focuses explicitly on communication through a computer in leadership. The theory applies to this relationship since my friend and I have developed a special form of communication over time through the use of computer texts especially when we are far from each other. It has taught me to communicate in a fast and effective manner in this relationship and to maintain contact with my friend despite distance barrier. In other relationships, it has taught me how to approach communication through the computer differently in relation to the person I relate to. Some textual symbols that I use in communicating differ from one person to another even when passing the same type of information.
Communication privacy management theory also relates to this relationship. Petronio (2013) explains that it considers the decisions that individuals make regarding the amount of information to share and the one to keep private. This is due to the risks involved in sharing information. It is similar to other theories in how it attempts to explain the aspects that hinder and those that facilitate the relationship. It, however, differs with them in its approach since it focuses only on the aspects that affect sharing sensitive and private information. It relates to this relationship since we had to establish we were both loyal to each other. In such a case, no party can disclose the confidential information that we share. The theory has taught me to disclose any information to my friend since we trust each other. It has however taught me not to use this type of approach in communicating with others since they can share my private information with others and it can affect me.
Ifinedo, P. (2016). Applying uses and gratifications theory and social influence processes to understand students’ pervasive adoption of social networking sites: Perspectives from the Americas. International Journal of Information Management, 36(2), 192-206.
Panos, D. (2014). “I” on the Web: Social Penetration Theory Revisited. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 5(19), 185.
Petronio, S. (2013). Brief status report on communication privacy management theory. Journal of Family Communication, 13(1), 6-14.
Walther, J. B. (2008). Social information processing theory. Engaging theories in interpersonal communication: Multiple perspectives, 391-404.