A primary goal of the contents in Chapters 5-8 is to explain how messages work in interpersonal
communication. Through your lectures and readings, you have learned that three main areas of
knowledge: The (a) form (features, qualities, characteristics, channels) of verbal and nonverbal
messages, the (b) function (meaning conveyed, expressed, and interpreted) of verbal and nonverbal messages, and (c ) how verbal and nonverbal messages combine to meet meaning-related goals in social interaction. Through this content, especially in Chapter 6, you will learn that nonverbal behavior may be unintentional by a message sender, but can still be interpreted by a message recipient.
Many of the channels of nonverbal communication were developed before the popularity of cell phones. In this essay, you will use your observations in society to write a creative essay where you develop some new channels, classifications, and forms of nonverbal cell phone communication (and behavior). You can choose to focus on behaviors and messages conveyed through the cell phone itself as an object, or you can choose to identify behaviors and messages conveyed to others through interpersonal communication in apps and social media using the cell phone as a channel. Focus on interpersonal communication in this
1A) Identify, label, and describe a new classification (channel) of nonverbal communication (or
behavior) with cell phones (Chapter 6, pp. 157-158).
1B )Identify, label, and describe how this classification (channel) functions to convey meaning
nonverbally, illustrating examples within the functions of nonverbal communication or introducing your
own new function of nonverbal communication (Chapter 6,, pp. 162-167).
2) Identify, label, and describe a new classification of combined (or integrated) verbal and nonverbal
communication – a way cell phones are used like accenting, complementing, substituting or contradicting
(Chapter 6, pp. 172-173)
My example #1: It seems cell phones can serve to nonverbally disclose something related to your identity (or form) is the physical appearance of the cell phone. The meaning conveyed relates to expression of the user’s identity, likes/dislikes, and self, but is possibly just a behavior which others interpret as having communicative value versus an intentional action. I would want to include examples of how this works and compare/contrast this example with known channels. Physical appearance is a channel, but the way it is defined focuses on visible features of the body which dif ers from my observations about physical appearance of a cell phone (Solomon & Theiss, 2013). A similarity, however, is that just like with physical appearance, decorating a cell phone or changing out cases, wallets, popsockets, can change what someone knows about you from your appearance. I am extending this channel into a new function of nonverbal behavior not explicitly mentioned in our book, but one we can see – nonverbal behavior shares information about our identity with others.
My example #2: I see cell phones used in what I would label an “isolating” combination. People can be involved verbally in a conversation with backchannels (uhhuh, yeah, wow, cool) but be isolated in the conversation by using nonverbal communication focused on the cell phone (looking at the screen, typing). To me, such a behavior would signal a lack of immediacy or involvement in the conversation, but perhaps a lack of focus on the conversation as well. I would argue that when verbal and nonverbal cues are combined in this way, it isolates the person from the personal connection that could occur face-to-face by splitting attention. I might compare it to contradicting, when nonverbal cues contrast the verbal communication (Solomon & Thiess, 2013). But I would likely emphasize the dif erence because the person observing this behavior could not determine if the messages are truly contradicting
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