The Uses And Gratifications Of Im English Language Essay

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Much of the early research on Instant Messaging communication focuses on how students use the IM in their daily life and what are their motives to use IM to communicate. In this modern technology society, students are using these technologies to gratify their social and academic needs. According to Bimholtz (2010) IM provides ready access to contacts around the globe for real-time interaction and information exchange, and is particularly well suited to young adults thanks to easy awareness of what friends are online, as well as an inexpensive, lightweight and reasonably private for interacting.

Research shows that majority of the college students choose to use to IM to communicate with their friends and family because the multi-functions of IM such as the use of different emotions, personalizing their user interface, accessories like webcam, voice chat, sending free voicemails in IM, are important functions for college students to satisfy their "instant gratification" needs, especially in their demands for immediate response. Researcher Vrocharidou and Eftymiou, (2011). found that friends were the most important communication partners in students' everyday lives and, regardless of the type of social tie, IM was the most communication tool used by the students and the most prevalent motivations revealed the four motives of students for using IM were social entertainment, task accomplishment, social attention and to meet new people. Several studies indicate that IM can also be a valuable tool in current educations. According to Pew Internet study, the use of IM will be transferred from educational settings to new working environments when university students enter into work place. Based on researcher Vrocharidou and Eftymiou, (2011). it is shows that students who used IM services found it easier to communicate, felt stronger sense of community, and had more venues for informal and social communication about class material, the school, and their common degree program.

However, there is a research done by Bardi and Brady (2010), found that IM used by shy people to satisfy their affiliation needs. The motives of shy people use IM were to increase personal contact as opposed to gain social ease or decrease loneliness because IM may reduce anxiety and allow shy person to initiate more in-depth and more revealing conversations. For example, socially anxious individuals have been found to prefer sending text messages via cell phones rather than speaking on the phone. Shyness has also been associated with using the Internet to decrease a perceived deficit in real-life social networks by establishing virtual friendships, and relieving feelings of loneliness. In other words, it was concluded that shyer people have multiple motives for using IM, decreasing loneliness is particularly important for them.

2.2. Attitudes and perceptions of using IM.

Researcher Skierkowski and Wood, (2011) has done numerous studies and have identified that IM as the preferential form of contact by students when compared with other commonly used forms of computer-mediated communication such as Facebook, email, or talking over the mobile phone. Results of this study indicate that instant messaging, text messaging and mobile phones are distinctive media for students, and that mobile phones tend to be used in reinforcing strong social ties among this group. As a whole, mobile phones often represent their digital connection to real-life friends, family, and the world at large. This finding helps illustrate the notion that text messaging and mobile phone utilization for communicative purposes is a worldwide phenomenon practiced by young people almost everywhere the technology is available. For students, IM is an asynchronous form of communication in which individuals have the time to think of appropriate responses to peers before responding, as well as having the capacity to carry multiple conversations simultaneously without disrupting others.

Research indicate that, the behavior and motives of students in IM were used to enhance feelings of belongingness, and that group norms play a large role in influencing texting behavior. IM has become an integral aspect of their daily communicative behavior, and is the preferred way to keep contact with their friends and family. Thus, belongingness and social identity emerge as important aspects of the mobile phone experience for students; belongingness is facilitated through frequent connections with others, which is achieved by leaving one's phone on at all times.

Furthermore, researcher Skierkowski and Wood, (2011) finds that students indicated that using IM to keep contact with others promoted the feelings of being loved, valued, and of being popular among their peer networks. Student who did not comply with this standard reported feeling ostracized by others and a pressure to conform to implicitly and explicitly understood social norms for appropriate IM behavior. Thus, students compliant with socially defined norms for appropriate text messaging behavior are likely to experience a greater sense of belongingness, which in turn can have a positive impact on self-esteem. Activities, such as IM, that enhance perceptions of self-esteem are likely to ultimately result in the formation of a social identity that is enmeshed in the communicative processes that facilitate feelings of belongingness in the first place. As a result, IM becomes an important aspect of the essential experience of the self in relation to others.

2.3 Positive psychological and behavioral outcomes of IM.

Clearly, IM behavior has become an extremely important aspect among students to maintain their daily relationships, as well as an integral component of the self-concept. The benefits of using IM to maintaining the existing social networks has been noted by different researchers, as they explained that IM promoting the feelings of interconnectedness and can enhance self-esteem that lead to generally better psychological outcomes for students to familiar with the technology. Despite of these, IM has also been examined in the context of other positive psychological, behavioral outcomes, and health outcomes, with similar results. Indeed, IM has been used in academic settings to support students' social transitions to university life as well as to facilitate classroom engagement and learning with positive implications as what research Skierkowski and Wood, (2011) studies. As noted in the previous examples, the potential positive benefits of IM can be applied to a variety of behavioral and psychological settings that include increased social support for incoming university students, promotion of positive teacher-student classroom interactions and so on. Acknowledgment of these positive effects is important in the formation of an integrated, comprehensive, and multi-dimensional understanding of the risks and benefits of text messaging behavior among college students. In light of widespread use of this technology among young people today, and the presumed impact of IM on younger cohorts of individuals who will continue to experience their development with expanding technological advances, studying the effects of text messaging is a dynamic process that will continue to evolve at as rapid of a pace as the technology itself. The continual study of text messaging among adolescents is thus an important area of present and future psychological and behavioral research, with the potential for overarching global implications as mobile phones become increasingly available worldwide to people of all socioeconomic divisions. (Dorothy Skierkowski & Rebecca M.Wood, 2011). (Feel like conclusion)

2.4 The uses and gratification, attitudes and perceptions of face to face communication among students.

Speech communication is interactive. Researcher Vrocharidou and Eftymiou, (2011). found that face-to-face communication was the most useful channel for need satisfaction and that both cell phones and IM were used significantly more than email for all needs satisfaction factors. A spoken conversation build a complex communicative act together which involves linguistic, emotional expressive, and more generally cognitive and social dimensions. Face-to-face communication is multimodal: interacting involves multimodality and nonverbal communication to a large extent. Speakers not only hear but also see each other producing sounds as well as facial and more generally body gestures. Moreover, according to researcher Dohen, M. Schwartz. J and Bailly. G (2010). speech communication involves not only linguistic but also psychological, affective and social aspects of interaction. Face-to-face communication is situated: the true challenge of spoken communication is to take into account and integrate information not only from the speakers but also from the entire physical environment in which the interaction takes place. As already shown by several studies, spoken communication are more embedded in their natural context i.e. interaction. Face-to-face communication is in fact much more than speaking and speech is greatly influenced both in substance and content by this essential form of communication. Gaze together with speech contribute to maintain mutual attention and to regulate turn-taking for example. The communicative setting, the "task" in which the interlocutors are involved, their respective roles and the environmental conditions of the conversation indeed greatly influence how the spoken interaction unfolds.

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