Deborah Tannen: The Medium is the Metamessage
Bateson – coined term Metacommunication: “the subject of discourse is the relationship between the speakers”
The metamessage, according to Tannen, is implicit, and indicates how the ‘speaker’ intends the message.
Same statements about the politeness of different conversational styles apply to text messages as to oral communication – age difference regarding the acceptance of texting in company of someone with whom one is communicating face-to-face.
Brevity of interruptions are part of the judgement of rudeness in high-involvement style and young-texters style.
Markers of Enthusiasm and Intensity
Gender difference in use of doubled punctuation marks and duplicated vowels. The ‘unmarked’ use is to show enthusiasm this way.
Brevity is cold – or is it just a masculine style?
Brevity may be indirect; can be the motivation for texting rather than telephoning. Thus, the medium is a metamessage – telephoning can either be rude as an interruption or showing enthusiasm as in the need to communicate more fluidly.
Ambiguity of sending just a link.
Buzzfeed article on the “True Meaning” of emojis
Pacing & Pausing
Length of time between message and response is a metamessage.
A dead battery can imply unintended meaning!
Medium Choice – Facebook is more public – being broken up or ‘Facebook official’ is for a different audience than text or other medium messages.
If you’re using FB do you send a private message or post on the person’s wall?
Liabilities of the technology – signature as unintended message
Moral Panic at Introduction of New Media
Writing; the printing press, texting… new media discourse isn’t that unique when compared to previous means of communication.
What are your observations on the use of texting and social media in the communication patterns of your peers?