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Computer Mediated Communication: Helpful or Hurtful?

Have you read the article about creating influence by understanding the three key factors associated with power? In short, it discusses three factors that you must consider when establishing power in your network.

Those factors are:

1. the number of ties you have in your network,

2. how close you are to each of those ties and

3. If you have the ability to directly contact those members of your network.

Now that we communicate on the computer so often, how can we use it to increase our power?

A study published in 2013 in Information Technology and People looked at the use of computer mediated communication specifically in the workplace. They found the use of such communication mediums, such as email and instant message, significantly increase the number of ties in an individual’s workplace as well as the closeness to those ties. If you work in a large organization and are not able to interact face to face with everyone on a daily basis, the use of email and instant messaging can actually help you increase the power you hold in your network by building your personal relationships.

However, there is a flip side. Those who had the most outgoing messages also showed a decrease in work performance. No good. As discussed in Communicating Your Credibility, others perceive you as credible or not based both on character as well as competence. You must have the competence in order to leverage character traits.


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I want to hear –  how do you balance the use of technology in the work place? Leave a comment below!!

About the Author Sandy Donovan

Sandy empowers the young and talented to increase their power and influence by improving their ability to be heard and be clear. She does this by providing access to rigorously tested research in the communication, psychology, and marketing fields.

  • tom

    Sometimes a response to an email can’t be yes or no black or white. I see many times that this spawns never-ending email trails with multiples of confused participants. My approach, avoid that by picking up the phone and having a direct conversation. I find it is quicker easier and less confusing. In addition, the person on the other end appreciates it more.