Conclusion

This body of research was built upon the pilot study conducted by this author in July 2008 and continued to be a body of research still under examination and reporting. However, initial evidence as a result of the latest collection of data suggests that the hypotheses are fully supported in the affirmative. Text messaging is the suggested socially interactive technology of choice with family and friends.

This paper attempted to address social presence in the context of SIT choice by comparing e-mail, IM and text messaging. Furthermore, the collected data suggests that participants favor text messaging over the other two SITs, however a clear causation for this correlation is not yet salient. It may be speculated that synchronous modes of communication such as text messaging are bimodal; Perhaps functional in terms of extending oneself to others by meeting personal communication needs of immediacy and intimacy; Perhaps trendy in terms of the ability to customize personal communication devices and promote self-identity. Furthermore, one might want to consider the influence these bimodal characteristics have on each other in terms of technological diffusion and adoption of SIT: Does function follow form, or is it the reverse?

The scope of this study intentionally limited the measures of social presence to that of technology choice based on several criteria. Noticeably absent was the standard by which social presence has been historically measured against. The significance of immediacy and intimacy, and that of FtF verbal and nonverbal communication and their six functions (Argyle, 1969) as outlined previously was not thoroughly understood by the author at the time of the pilot. It has since been the focus of immense study, and introduced into the current study as a means of comparing SIT choices against what has long been held the optimum communication medium, FtF.

This is not yet complete, as indicated previously, therefore it would be premature to conclude the achievements and conversely the shortcomings of this body of research.

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References