Literature Review (continued)

From Table 1 we can compare two sets of results from separate bodies of research. The purpose here is not to decipher the subtle distinctions between the two sets but to demonstrate the agreement between them and serve as a practiced standard for the purpose of this study. What is important is that both indicate the need for a visual channel to effectively complete the communication exchange between interlocutors. Without the visual element, the medium is likely to affect the outcome of the exchange in terms of equivocality and incompleteness of content (Short et al, 1976, Morley, 2008). In fact, Short et al (1976) are explicit in their conclusion of telecommunications-based studies, characterizing the absence of the visual channel as, the most obvious defect (p. 43) of the conventional telephone, suggesting that the visual channel is imperative to the successful exchange of information content (Morley, 2008).

Visual channel significance is derived from two properties, proximity and orientation (Short et al, 1976, Morley, 2008). Together these properties assist in optimum or specific exchange mode by including the physical distance between interlocutors and their FtF orientation as factors that determine the perceived relationship (Short et al, 1976, Morley, 2008).

The affect of the absence of the visual channel and its ability to communicate nonverbal cues between interlocutors prompted Short et al (1976) to study the perceived effectiveness of the communications medium. Short et al (1976) characterizes the absence of nonverbal messaging as less than complete:

The constant problem is to know whether the signals emitted by one part are used by the other. A distinction is thus commonly made between cues which signal a certain state in the sender (indicative cues) and cues to which the other responds in some way or another (communicative cues)...We must recognize that the communication stream is a total stream and it is dangerous to isolate items of information in individual channels from the total message (p. 59).

Borrowing from the research of Morley and Stephenson and the âeffects of varying the medium of communication in the context of negotiationâ (1969), Short et al (1976) established the theory Social Presence, the premise that explains why verbal communication does not need nonverbal cues to accurately complete the message.

This study first proposed by Morley (2008) brings forward several previously studied variables but applied here to a larger population, and edited to reflect competency obtained since. The previous study relied heavily on a controlled convenience sample that produced non-representative results, and therefore should be considered a pilot study. This study will address the question regarding choice of SIT relative to family, friends and acquaintances, and compare temporal measurements to perceived effectiveness of each SIT.

H1: A positive relationship will exist if interlocutors consciously choose a specific Social Interactive Technology (SIT) to engage in effective exchange with specific social networks.