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In today’s digital age relationships are mediated by social media. Social media is changing the nature of relationships because of the presence it makes through creating a social identity. Within a romantic relationship between two individuals, computer-mediated- communication (CMC) can be a factor in the development of the relationship. Throughout my own personal experience in a relationship, CMC such as text messaging and the use of social media (Snapchat and Facebook) help depict the journey. Concepts of CMC, such as Multiplexity, Selective Self Presentation, and Experiential Learning can all be applied to my personal life experience.
In my most recent relationship, my ex-girlfriend Kelly and I had a few issues based on a communication aspect, as well as other reasons throughout the development of our relationship from the beginning to the end. I had originally met Kelly at work, as we worked together for over a year and were always just friends. Eventually, our friendship blossomed into a romantic relationship. We were connected in more than one way other than in a professional work environment. This presented how our relationship started as one thing and turned into another, describing the concept of Multiplexity. The concept of Multiplexity describes a connection between two people includes more than one social connection. For example, an actor and actress could be co-stars in a movie and outside of the movie, they are married in real life. As our relationship changed from uniplex to multiplex this is when issues began to arise. My girlfriend had an issue of always wanting to communicate via text messaging rather than face-to-face about more serious and legitimate problems or issues. With myself being a humble and more mature individual, I was not an advocate for these ways. I had always been taught since I was a young child to discuss issues with someone face to face because this is the most respectful way to handle problems. When I became fed up with these actions I finally initiated that I think it would be more mature and respectful to both us if we transitioned our more serious conversations from via text messaging to face to face or via facetime. Our goal was to ultimately reduce issues in response to this new of communication in our relationship.
Kelly would often use Facebook excessively to depict our relationship as something it was not, trying to create a presence that was nonexistent. The concepts of selective self-presentation can be presented to depict this behavior. When we first started talking on a regular basis, Kelly would make snap chat story’s, post pictures of us, and make posts on Facebook presenting us as a dating couple, when in fact we had only just started talking. This described the process of selective self-presentation. Selective self-presentation can be described as how people attempt to present themselves to control or shape how others or their audience views them. They ultimately want to create the desired impression. For example, someone may post a picture of them living lavishly on social media, but in reality, that person does not live a lavish lifestyle day to day. They want to be perceived as something they are not in order to gain exposure. Kelly’s desired impression of us was that we were dating as and wanted it to be advertised.
The CMC related concept experiential learning can be applied to my past relationship experience with my ex-girlfriend Kelly. After I and Kelly had broken up after many months battling issues, and having our differences I personally had a realization regarding relationships through experiential learning. The concept of experiential learning can be described as the process of learning through experience. For example, a communication student interning for a marketing position may learn the fundamentals better working for an organization, doing real-world assignments rather than learning through the textbook. I came to this realization because this was my first real relationship and had all these different issues being presented to me rather quickly, I became overwhelmed. I learned that taking things slow and steady and being transparent with you other about relationship fundamentals is key in order to maintain a healthy relationship. I have now learned from this experience and can take these learnings and apply them to future relationships I hope to have in my foreseeing future.
CMC plays a substantial role in any life experiences and creates an even greater social identity within a romantic relationship. By being able to make connections between my past relationships to CMC related concepts clarity’s why this interaction is an example of each of my chosen concepts. These concepts help depict the experience and give insight on what events actually occurred. Without CMC effective communication in regard to societal norms would not be achievable, and would change every aspect of today’s digital age.
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