Graduation Year

2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Communication

Major Professor

Jane Jorgenson, Ph.D.

Keywords

Instant messenger, Online communication, Qualitative interviews, Interpersonal communication, Personal disclosure

Abstract

This study consists of qualitative interviews with 8 graduate students about the use of synchronous computer-mediated communication (SCMC), or instant message (IM), programs in their interpersonal relationships. Participants were interviewed twice, once via an instant message program and once in a face-to-face setting. They were asked about their frequency of use, their use of multi-tasking, and the types of conversations they have via IM. Results of the interviews are discussed, with a concentration on the paradoxical nature of IM communication as impersonal, but at the same time, conducive to personal disclosure and intimacy.

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