This week’s discussion on difference social media and communication tools provided an interesting lens through which to examine one of my guiding questions from week 1:
How does computer mediated communication differ from face-to-face communication in the development of a community (of practice or of inquiry)?
This week, students reviewed a number of different tools, including Twitter. The discussion around Twitter in particular highlighted one of the big differences between face-to-face communication and digital communication – the constraints of the communication in different formats. Tweets are limited to 280 characters. This limit imposes a certain discourse structure on Twitter users, resulting in a character-conserving discourse style. One of results of this is that communication on this platform has increased “brevity and to-the-point characteristics” (Boot et. al., 2019). This is an interesting comparison to other digital platforms where members may engage in more verbose posts in the absence of system word limits or social cues. This actually came up in Week 5 when we discussed length of posts in a discussion form. The nature of discourse has changed significantly with new media, resulting in new genres of language.
Boot, A.B., Tjong Kim Sang, E., Dijkstra, K. et al. (2019) How character limit affects language usage in tweets. Palgrave Commun 5 76 https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-019-0280-3