Interpersonal Effects in Computer-Mediated Interaction
Several theories and much experimental research on relational tone in computer-mediated communication (CMC) points to the lack of nonverbal cues in this channel as a cause of impersonal and task-oriented messages. Field research in CMC often reports more positive relational behavior. This article examines the assumptions, methods, and findings of such research and suggests that negative relational effects are confined to narrow situational boundary conditions. Alternatively, it is suggested that communicators develop individuating impressions of others through accumulated CMC messages. Based upon these impressions, users may develop relationships and express multidimensional relational messages through verbal or textual cues. Predictions regarding these processes are suggested, and future research incorporating these points is urged.