A Application Of Social Penetration Theory Concepts Course Work Examples

Published: 2021-06-22 00:42:35
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Category: Internet, Sociology, Communication

Type of paper: Essay

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Introduction

I. Description of Theories Applied
II. Application of Social Penetration Theory

B. Application of Economic Aspect of Social Penetration Theory

III. Application of Uncertainty Reduction Theory

A. Virtual Communication and Uncertainty Reduction

B. Benefits of Virtual Interaction and Theoretical Explanation
Conclusion

Introduction
People tend to interact with the help of various social networks more frequently. USA Today reported that more people entrust the choice of their mates to Internet. Statistics represented in the article showed that 22% of men and 12% of women surveyed experienced “a romantic, sexual or erotic relationship online, even some of those over 65 (7%)” (Marcus, 2011).
I. Description of Theories Applied
Online relationship development support several concepts of Social Penetration Theory and Uncertainty Reduction Theory. The researched issue of this paper addresses reasonability of real relationships substitution for virtual interaction.
II. Application of Social Penetration Theory

A. Application of Social Penetration Theory Concepts

Online communication makes communication quicker on the first stage of social penetration and allows saving time which is very important in contemporary society. In accordance with Social Penetration Theory, sharing superficial information does not take much time and people switch to sharing intimate information making their relationship more meaningful (Altman, 1973).

B. Application of Economic Aspect of Social Penetration Theory

One of the Social Penetration Theory concepts is that people build their relationships in accordance with “mini-max principle”. It means maximizing benefits and minimizing costs (Griffin, 2009; Altman, 1973).
Virtual relationships are beneficial because they save much time and money on courting which applies to economic concept of Social Penetration Theory. For example, one can stay in the office or at home without the necessity to go somewhere and have a nice time with the person one sympathizes. It seems that virtual relationships are not inferior to real interaction in many aspects: one can virtual flowers, cards, even invite one’s flame to a virtual restaurant. In addition, there are many free Internet services; one has to pay only for the Internet connection. Thus, both parties benefit emotionally and financially. The main thing about virtual interaction is an initial communication, but not the attributes.
III. Application of Uncertainty Reduction Theory

A. Virtual Communication and Uncertainty Reduction

Unlikely to real life relationships, virtual interaction does not require any special preparations and worries, thus insuring both parties against possible personal failure during the first date. Comprehensive information provided at the web-page helps reduce the level of uncertainty connected with the first interaction and discover if the person matches one’s requirements. Sharing personal information online with a stranger is simpler than telling the same in person. Thus, the speed of interaction increases and the level of uncertainty decreases respectively (Shapiro E. and Shapiro D., 1997).

B. Benefits of Virtual Interaction and Theoretical Explanation

“Technology is seductive when what it offers meets our human vulnerabilities.” (Turkle, 2011). Thus, online communication helps reduce human vulnerability connected with the first time interaction.
The assertion of Uncertainty Reduction Theory intimately intersects with one of the postulates of Social Penetration Theory, namely: social penetration will continue if mutual benefits of parties involved in communication outweigh the costs of excessive disclosure.
Excessive disclosure to a virtual interlocutor costs nothing because one does not have to look into interlocutor’s eyes or seek for justifications. As people involved into computer mediated communication do not actually know each other, they are exempted from any kind responsibility or commitments. Thus, it makes them feel less vulnerable; one emotionally pays nothing even if virtual relationships quit.

Conclusion

It is obvious that virtual relationships take much more space in people lives than before. At the same time they cannot substitute for real-world relationships because it contradicts with human nature. Virtual relationships can be a good start for the relationships because they help overcome difficulties connected with the first interaction and initiate effective primary contact. Further romance continuation, however, needs to be real, if the continuation was mentioned. Virtual relationships reduce the level of uncertainty but they cannot be a shield from real life.

References

Altman, I., & Taylor, D. (1973). Social penetration: The development of interpersonal relationships. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.
Griffin, E. (2009). A First Look at Communication Theory. (7th ed.). Sydney: McGraw Hill.
Marcus, M.B. (2011, February 14). More People Find Romance through Social Media. USA Today, Retrieved from
http://www.usatoday.com/yourlife/sex-relationships/2011-02-14-romanceonline14_ST_N.htm
Shapiro, E.J. and D. Shapiro D. (1997). Presentation of Self in Virtual Life
Web Page Personas in Cyberspace. Portland: Portland State University.
Turkle, S. (2011). Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other”). New York: Basic Books.

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