Is Texting Harmful to Your Relationship? Effect of Mode of Communication on Relationship Quality and Satisfaction.
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Today, there are many options for communicating in the context of interpersonal relationships. Computer-mediated forms of communication (CMC) such as text messaging has become a primary mode of communication for adolescents and young adults. Original research on CMC proposed opposing theories on whether CMC would be harmful or beneficial to relationships. As a result of contradictory findings supporting both theories, this paper analyzes the literature to try and determine if the mode of communication that is used in an interpersonal setting has a positive or negative effect on the relationship quality and satisfaction of that relationship. Due to the many factors that differ study to study, we analyzed the literature through four focuses: comparing different modes, relational satisfaction, kind of relationship, and mediating factors such as social anxiety and use of emoticons. Across the analysis, face-to-face interaction was generally found to be associated with greater relationship satisfaction than did CMC and in a few studies, CMC was found to specifically be associated with negative relationship satisfaction. However, due to issues of causality, generalizability, and constantly changing technology, much more research would be needed to conclusively say that CMC has a negative effect on the satisfaction in a relationship with whom one is communicating.
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