CMC - Research Paper Example

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CMC research paper Name Tutor Institution Subject Code Introduction Health communication is the process of informing and encouraging individuals, institutions and members of the public on various health issues affecting them (Ray, 2005). Because of the unique nature of the audience and messages passed, it is conducted out of a thorough audience research and involves a number of stakeholders including: specific communities, health professionals, health service providers and the government…
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CMC research paper Introduction Health communication is the process of informing and encouraging individuals, institutions and members of the public on various health issues affecting them (Ray, 2005). Because of the unique nature of the audience and messages passed, it is conducted out of a thorough audience research and involves a number of stakeholders including: specific communities, health professionals, health service providers and the government. The overall goal of this initiative is to improve living conditions by educating them on healthy living practices and preventive measures. Thesis statement Is Computer-mediated Communication (CMC) effective in managing exchanges meant to adjust audiences’ lifestyles to prevent transmission of communicable diseases? The internet is a multifaceted medium that alters already established theories of face to face and mass communication. Its use as a communication and social environment is a trending topic in communication research. CMC is a multi-disciplinary field that assesses various issues that result from internet use for human communication. This form of communication has transformed communication channels from its earlier forms which was predominantly face to face interaction. Many health service providers have websites that contains information on various health issues, they also give their expert advices through remote communication media for instance, video conferencing. In managing the spread of communicable diseases, there are guidelines applied to manage traditional health communication media in achieving effective lifestyle change among the target audience; this changing landscape therefore requires the same rules set to realise the same outcomes without offending the audience. For instance, the emotional variations showing empathy used in face to face interactions can also be applied in computer aided communications by use of tools like emoticons which are available in textual applications (SMS and email). In this communication domain, CMC is used in informing members of the public to be aware of the health risks in their community. It is therefore meant to appeal to their emotional side for them to change the dominant attitudes, which put them at high risks of contracting the disease. Modern communication tools like text messages and the social networks are used to pass this information; this is because these are effective in passing information to large and diverse audiences. When conducting health assessment in the community, the assessors take vital information like phone numbers which are used when conducting follow up. They can use the multi send option available in a variety of handsets and computers to pass the same information to a large audience at a go (Farkas, 2007). Many people now depend on the social media as the primary information resource since it pools these pieces from a variety of sources at a go. Health communicators can create user pages in common networking sites for instance, Facebook. They will then give updates to the audience in a timely manner. Such important health issues are given much weight by the audience who will also share this information with the others. The effectiveness of the social media in passing health messages is evaluated by looking at the reach factors. According to statistics on social media use by Jeff Bullas, one in every nine people, the world over, are active Facebook users. He also says that a majority of this audience access the site using mobile devices (Bullas, 2011). This makes it an effective medium because the health communicators are assured of wide message reception. The social networks also offer flexibility in language use which the health communicators can utilize to ensure that the messages are tailored to the local community’s needs. In evaluating the effectiveness of CMC with the social presence theory, the level of interpersonal relationship that exists between the parties is of extreme importance. The term social presence means the level to which the parties are aware of one another (Littlejohn & Foss, 2008). It is easier to have an effective face to face communication because of optimal social presence as it has an immediate feedback and the communicator can read audiences emotions and reactions. The rise of internet use had redefined social presence to mean how users present themselves in the online environment. Individuals have profiles that have information about them; at a glance through the information provided therein, one can easily know about the communicator without necessarily having a face to face interaction. This information can be used by health communicators when doing audience segmentation to ensure they only spread the information to the right people (Wright & Webb, 2011). Despite the advantages associated with use of CMC, it has a number of challenges for instance; it does not incorporate the use on non verbal cues which is an important component of effective communication. In the same vein, with its universal standards of applicability, CMC is not ideal in addressing matters relating to specific cultural backgrounds, economic status, gender, age and social status (Thurlow, Tomic & Lengel, 2004). Conclusion There is continuous improvement of online communication platforms which offer better methods of attaining effective communication processes. Video conferencing is one aspect that incorporates visuals to this medium, and the audience together with the health communicator are able to read each other’s emotional responses. Technology has opened new channels for communication but has other risks if not well managed by having the overall goals, tasks and existing relationships in mind when coming up with the message. References Ray, E. B. (2005). Health communication in practice a case study approach. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers. Thurlow, C., Tomic, A., & Lengel, L. B. (2004). Computer mediated communication: social interaction and the Internet. London: SAGE. Wright, K. B., & Webb, L. M. (2011). Computer-mediated communication in personal relationships. New York: Peter Lang. Farkas, M. G. (2007). Social software in libraries: building collaboration, communication, and community Online. Medford, N.J.: Information Today. Bullas, J. (2011). 20 Stunning Social Media Statistics Plus Infographic. Retrieved April 28, 2012, from social-media-statistics/ Littlejohn, S. W., & Foss, K. A. (2008). Theories of human communication (9. edition (International Student ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth. Read More
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