Please find some notes outlining Walther & Parks (2002) study entitled “Cues Filtered In, Cues Filtered Out.”

Main Idea: Nothing is empirically tested in this study.  Rather, the authors provide a review of several prominent computer mediated communication (CMC) theories.

Important Theories:

Cues Filtered Out – The greater the bandwidth (number of communication cues) a system affords, the greater the social presence of communicators.  Walther & Parks discredit this theory due to time restrictions.  Also, group identity and attitude are not taken into consideration.

Media Richness Theory – the more emotionally charged the subject matter, the more complex media is required.  Therefore, texting is not an adequate forum for emotional issues (533).

Social Information Processing (SIP) – Communicators exchange social information through the content, style and timing of verbal messages on-line.  This diverges from traditional CMC thinking, which suggests that the lack of nonverbal cues restricts the flow of social information (535).

Mixed-Mode Relationships – people meet on-line and migrate off-line (550).

SIDE (539) – This theory seems to draw the least amount of criticism from Walther & Parks although they do note its shortcomings in terms of its application to interpersonal relationships.

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