#IranElection: A Cyber Revolution?

I recently completing a paper on the use of social media as a backchannel in natural disasters and political action (to be posted later), and I finished reading Howard Rheingold’s Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution. My timing, unfortunately, couldn’t have been set up better. Footage of the current protests surrounding the Iran Election are all over CNN – but this isn’t your mainstream video being shown to the world. It is video made by the citizens of Iran, because the Iranian government has shut down foreign media and are censoring what is being shown on their networks. But thanks to information communication technologies and social media, the world has been able to see what is really going on. Pictures submitted by citizen journalists show the streets packed with people, everyone with their phones or cameras high in the air, trying to capture the event to share it with the rest of the world.

The Iranian government has been working to block these social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, and now they have blocked internet access, SMS, and soon the phones as well. Iranian protesters are working to report the event while keeping their identities anonymous, afraid of what may happen to them if they are caught. People in other countries are trying to help, as Twitter users change their locations and profiles to confuse the government. As reported on CNN, Internet users outside of the US are sending proxies to people in Iran to give them fake IP addresses that place them outside of Iran. The grassroots efforts that often stem from cyber citizens are working hard combat the government’s efforts to censor the images coming out of Tehran, really turning this into a sort of “cyber war.”

This is not the first time information communication technologies (ICT), social media, or smart mobs have helped spread messages of political activism or shared breaking news with the world. This is one of the first times however, that social media and citizen journalism (or reporting) has become a leading source of information regarding the status of people on the ground in Tehran.

The first time I saw the real power of citizen journalism, whether it was meant to be or not, was after the US Airways flight landed in the Hudson River. The Twitpic of the plane in the water, with passengers standing on the wing, instantly had tens of thousands of views within a few hours. I realized at that point that technology is affecting how we see the world, and how we spread messages through massive networks. This is only one small example of how ICTs are used as a back channel. Hurricane Katrina, the Southern California Wildfires, and even the Seattle World Trade Organization protest. While many people use Facebook and Twitter mainly for social means, soon it will be hard to avoid learning about current events through social media sites. That’s where I first learned about the Hudson River landing in the first place!

While I don’t have very much background on the Iranian election and I don’t want to make assumptions, I do believe the government doesn’t have the right to censor the protest. The police are being very brutal, which has led to disturbing videos of the violence that is occurring. If the Iranian Government thinks that after the protests the problem will just go away, they have another thing coming to them. The protests have been documented and broadcasted to the world, and it will not be forgotten. This is not the last time social media and ICTs will have an impact on political action and natural disasters, and it is the job of scholars (hopefully me some day!) to study the information citizens are sharing and figuring out ways to be more prepared for the next event. The beauty of the Web is that all of this information is archived, and it will be available to analyze for further studies.

To view photos, videos, or information about the #IranElection, check out www.ireport.com or search #IranElection in google, but I must warn that many of the photos and videos are extremely graphic. The web doesn’t have to be censored, so we are really seeing the real picture.

My life, recorded and archived online. Coming soon.

I wrote this post almost 2 years ago, and I haven’t acted on what I said. Since then, my grandmother has passed away but the memories live on, as does she in our hearts. The thoughts are coming back to my mind so I figured what better time than now to publish it. Let’s see if I can keep up with the goals I set for myself.


My mom recently received a book made by her grandmother, “Mama Honey.” This book, or Guest Log as it was titled, was a scrapbook of all of the time they had spent together in her childhood. There were newspaper clippings, letters, photographs, ticket stubs, you name it. Looking through it showed me history of my family’s life and the time period they grew up in. While the book isn’t in perfect condition, the artifacts inside it are priceless. I am at my grandparents’ house right now where we have been looking through old photographs of them growing up in Hawaii, Germany, and North Carolina. We have pictures that are several generations old still floating around in our family. I spoke with my other grandmother the other day and she was telling me how she found a box of artwork, cards, and projects that we had made over the years for her. She said it was the funniest thing in the world and there was no WAY she could throw any of it out! It makes me sad to think that I have gone through boxes of my old stuff and thrown so much of it away. But how can we keep all of it? There are so many memories and only so many physical pieces of those memories that we can hold on to.

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Looking through these old scrapbooks made me think, what are my grandchildren going to be looking through? My generation takes exponentially more photos of every event and posts them online. Newspapers are online and I find almost anything having to do with current events on the Internet. We are archiving our past without even realizing it! There will be so much more for generations to come to examine and evaluate to see what OUR lives were like, “back in the day.” How will they even view our archives? What will their computers be like? It would have been very challenging to convince someone in my grandparents’ generation that in the year 2000 everyone would be communicating via cell phones and sharing information in this crazy thing they call “cyberspace.” Will they even be able to easily find this information, or at least the photos and clippings we want them to find? Sure, there may be over 500 pictures of me on Facebook, but that’s only over a few years. Imagine how much data will be on the web in 10 years that we don’t even care about. How will all of the data be categorized in 50 years from now? I can’t even imagine how specific search engines will be at that point. New ways of categorizing photos and information are being created all the time, which one will stick and how much will it grow? My real question is, HOW CAN I CREATE MY LEGACY FOR GENERATIONS TO COME TO VIEW?

While blogging may seem shallow and self-absorbed to some people, I see it has creating history. What if we had these records for the Romans or the Mayans? Imagine the insight our blogs and photos will have for historians in the future. They will be able to see what life was like for all different types of people. Currently we can look through archives of the news and published media to evaluate the past. Right now, people all over the world are document the present for everyone to view. And now after reading myself type “all over the world” I can’t help myself but think about how third world countries will be remembered. Is their documentation going to be based on how WE (meaning the US and other wealthy nations) view them? I am not talking from experience and I have no background knowledge on this topic, but it is making me think. I wonder what types of blogs or journals would be (or already are) coming from less developed nations.

Now I come back to another question that I find myself needing to answer: Why do we blog? I can’t decide if I am writing about it because blogs are supposed to be about new technologies, or because blogs should be something others on the Internet might want to read. But as I’m writing right now, who is this for? Is anyone actually going to read this? Then I come back to the real question… Does it matter? In the past couple of hours I have written 5 pages about my photography experiences and about blogging in general. Am I really expecting anyone to read this? No, not really, although it would be nice. But I have been enjoying writing, and that is the real point. I guess someone could also say then what is the point of putting it online? Hmm, now I’m actually asking myself that. My family friend, Brenda (more than a family friend, practically my second mother), wrote a children’s book to prepare children for a new sibling on the way. The book as done well, but I remember when it first went to press and she was trying to figure out how to make it a success. My dad told her that her book was a success when one person was helped or affected by the book. As soon as you have made a difference in ONE person’s life, you have accomplished something. That is how I feel about blogging I guess. If ONE person reads my blog and gets something out of it, I will be satisfied. So have you gotten anything out of my blog? If so, I’m a winner! And so are you!

Ok, now to my true mission. I have been meaning to give myself a project for some time, and now that I have about a million other projects going on at the same time, why don’t we add one more to the list?

So here it is: I AM CREATING A COMPLETE ONLINE ARCHIVE OF MY LIFE. Well, as complete as I can get.

There. That wasn’t too bad. This isn’t completely self-absorbed of me, is it? I swear that’s not why I’m doing it. I want to have something that my family and friends can look back on. My roommate writes everything she does each day on a calendar. I constantly make fun of her for this. But then I look back at it and say, “I remember that! That was so much fun!” I have started to use Twitter more seriously now, and I’m going to try to keep up with it. I like the fact that I will be able choose any day a year from now and see what I did on that day, at a specific time. And with hardly any work from me! I don’t need an iPhone or to be connected to the Internet constantly. All I need to do is send a text message and I’ll have a 140 character or less reminder of what I was doing around that time. It doesn’t get much better than that. After blogging all summer when I was in Iowa (that blog will be imported) I realized it will be fun to look back at everything I did. Before I applied to the REU at Iowa State I looked through students’ blogs to get an idea of what their summer was like. I WISH they did a blog as thorough as mine! And hopefully someone will read my blog from last summer and it will make him or her want to apply. Maybe I already have made a difference in someone’s life!

And the other reason for archiving my life: I want to scan and save as many old photographs of my grandparent’s as possible. I jumped into the digital world and left film high and dry. If I don’t scan these photos, or even photos of my childhood before digital came around, who knows what will happen to them! I want to start the archive from the beginning, and the beginning began WAY before I was born. Several generations before I was born. If I can gather all of these photos, old and new, I will have the best archive of my family possible, and it will be easily transferred to anyone who would like to see it now or 100 years from now. But then I run into this other problem: what happens if the world ends or the World Wide Web crashes? Either would be a catastrophe.

And on that note, goodnight.

(More to come soon, but probably not as long, and maybe a little more web friendly. I mean I did take a class on writing for the web, I should know not to ramble so much, like I’m doing now…But wait, it doesn’t matter, it’s only for me! But come on, I should use good practices. Got to stay sharp some how!)

Instant Messaging and Text Messaging: An Overview

Introduction
Instant messaging and text messaging are forms of text-based communication utilized by today’s Internet and mobile phone users. Chat began in 1988 with the Finnish Internet Relay Chat (Cameron & Webster, 2005). Since then, chat has developed into multiple forms of computer-mediated communication. Now chat has evolved one-on-one messaging using instant messaging clients like AIM, social networks like Facebook, mail applications like Gmail, and short messages between mobile phones. Text messaging was not intended for interpersonal communication. Text messaging starting being used for commercial purposes, but users quickly evaluated the technology to suit their needs and began to communicate with each other. The communication imperative of humans allowed text messaging to evolve a frequently used form of computer-mediated communication that is continually expanding (Thurlow, 2003). In this paper, I will examine the use of text messaging and instant messaging by teens and in the workplace. In addition, I will evaluate the interpersonal use of these communication mediums and discuss future uses.
Background

Text messages are messages sent via mobile phone over the wireless network. Messages can be sent to any wireless user, regardless of the person’s service provider (Grinter & Eldridge, 2003). Short message service was first available over the Groupe Speciale Mobile network in 1992. Messages were limited to 160 characters using ASCII text. It was not until the late 1990’s that text messaging became popular. It first began to service as a form of communication in Europe and Asia among teenagers when it became affordable to purchase phones and minutes through pay-as-you-go plans. According to a report by Neilsen Mobile (2008), text messaging has increased over 450% in two years. “…A typical U.S. mobile subscriber sends or receives 357 text messages per month, compared to placing or receiving 204 phone calls” (Neilsen Mobile).

Instant messaging refers to the sending and receiving of text-based messages in a synchronous manner between two people or a group of people (Hu, Wood, Smith, & Westbrook, 2004). In 1996, ICQ created and one of the first systems for instant messaging. Teens were early adopters of this computer-mediated communication. The Pew Internet and American Life Project (2005) estimated that 13 million teens were instant messaging in 2000, increasing to 16 million in 2005 (p. 15). Instant messaging began to gain popularity in wealthier homes where people had regular access to a computer (Grinter, Palen, & Eldridge, 2006).

 

Main Users: Teens and College Students

Teens were the first adopters of instant messaging and text messaging, and they ontinue tobe the leading age group for both technologies. According to a study by Pew (2005), 75% of online teens use instant messaging, compared to only 42% of adults. Almost half of these users send instant messages every day (p. iii). Teens prefer instant messaging to other forms of computer-mediated communication, calling e-mail “something you use to talk to old people, institutions, or to send complex instructions to large groups” (p. ii).

Text messaging and instant messaging among teens is used more to strengthen existing social networks, not to meet new people (Grinter, Palen, and Eldridge, 2006). 90% of teens use instant messaging to stay in touch with friends that attend a different school or who live far away (Lenhart, Madden, & Hitlin, 2005). Dwyer (2007) found that instant messaging was the preferred communication method used by teens to stay in touch with their social networks. Students claimed that “everyone has it” and they “find it the easiest way to keep in touch with anyone” (p. 4). Students also reported that they preferred instant messaging with friends they did not feel comfortable speaking with on the phone. “It’s informal, very informal you can send a message, they get it on their own time so, you never have to worry about bothering somebody with it” (p. 6).

A study by Grinter, Palen, and Eldridge (2006) found that of the text messaging teenagers they studied, all were instant message users as well (p. 443). Their research led them to conclusions about the similarities and differences between text messaging and instant messaging among teens. Most of the participants said they never turn their phone off, only the volume down when they are sleeping (p. 430). They also stated that other studies said it was good manners to respond to a text messages as soon as possible (pg. 427). This increased effort at immediacy in text messaging communication appears as an attempt to increase social presence. In contrast, Grinter, Palen, and Eldridge’s study showed that instant message users engaged in intense, shorter sessions compared to users who stayed signed on all the time and communicated sporadically (p. 431). These results are difficult to evaluate because the study only observed 13 participants, resulting a very small sample that cannot be generalized to the entire population.

Teens utilize the “buddy icon” feature of most instant messaging programs. It allows users to post a small picture, drawing, or even animated clip to be associated with their messages. Pew (2005) reported that 60% of teens upload a buddy icon to their instant messaging profile (p. 21). Personalized fonts, backgrounds, and icons let teens work on their impression management, increasing their social presence in their computer-mediated communication.

Many teenage instant message users take advantage of the “away” message to communicate with their peers. A Pew (2005) survey stated that 86% of teens have posted an away message at least once, and “39% post an away message every day or almost every day” (pg. 20). These messages are used to tell friends that the user is unavailable and used to solicit communication. Teens use away messages to see who is online without informing others that they are online (Dwyer, 2007). Baron (2005) found that teens used away messages like “Please disturb me” to ask for attention, and “sleeping” as a way to screen messages. College students use away messages and evaluate their peers’ messages as a way of keeping with their friends’ lives (p. 30). Pew (2005) found that 62% of teens have posted messages specifically stating what they are doing (p. 20). This is very similar to the recent addition of status updates on social networks like Facebook and MySpace. Instant messaging and text messaging has created a generation that is used to informing their peers of their status, and having the ability to keep track of their friends.

People can send a message to the user that is away, and it is known that they will most likely not receive a response. While instant messaging comes very close to being a synchronous form of communication, away messages allow users to respond at their own will without regard for immediate feedback. Another factor that make instant messaging less synchronous is the fact that the receiver has to wait for the sender to finish typing to receive the message (Lenhart, Madden, & Hitlin, 2005). Several instant messaging clients display when the other user is typing, allowing users to know who is going to say something. This constricts social presence because the feedback is not immediate. Also, less social cues can be interpreted because the receiver cannot see if the sender is changing message as they type. A person can type a message, then decide they want to change the phrasing. In FtF communication once the sender starts talking, the receiver is already interpreting the message.

Grinter, Palen, and Eldridge (2006) found that instant messaging and text messaging both have an awareness component. Instant messaging clients show users the status of their friends and if they are available to be contacted. Text messages are sent directly to the handset of the receiver, allowing the receiver to read the message regardless of location or time (p. 444). Text messaging is often used to “microcoordinate” or “hypercoordinate.” Teenagers use text messaging to inform people of changes to existing plans because they are already away from a computer, unable to instant message. Almost 25% of text messages in their study were focused on making plans to communicate (p. 443). This shows that text messaging is used as a supplement to other forms of communication, often being used to organize FtF communication at a later time.

In 2005, Pew reported that 45% of teens owned a cell phone and 33% of all teens had sent a text message (p. ii). Another study in 2005 by Pew found that out of 36 million American adult cell phone texters, 63% of them were part of generation Y, ages 18-27 (Rainie, 2005). In the second quarter of 2008, teen mobile users in the US (ages 13-17) sent 1,742 text messages a month, more than double the number of messages sent by the second highest age group, 18-24 year olds (Neilsen Mobile, 2008). Teens only made 231 mobile calls a month, giving the appearance that they communicate through text messages more frequently than mobile phone calls. The article states that these results mean text is more popular, but that does not mean more is being communicated through text messages. The number of messages most likely includes conversations, which could easily add up to 5 or more messages. Also, the length of the telephone call is not considered. There is not enough data to complete interpret the statistics.

 

In the Workplace

The effectiveness of instant messaging and text messaging in the workplace has been an ongoing debate. While little research has been conducted on the use of text messaging in the workplace, the relevance of instant messaging in the workplace has increased. Businesses are seeing the benefits of having employees work remotely. They save money on travel, childcare, and office space. This switch to telecommuting has changed the way people communicate within organizations (Galushkin, 2003). 28 million business users are sending 1 billion instant messages each day (Avrahami & Hudson, 2006). Daft and Lengel categorize instant messaging and text messaging as lean media, making it unsuitable for interpersonal communication and more fitting for task-based communication (as cited in Hu, Wood, Smith, & Westbrook, 2004). Dennis and Kinney agree with this statement and state that CMC is better suited for direct and concise tasks. Avrahmi and Hudson (2006) discovered from previous research that instant messaging in the workplace works well to complement other forms of communication. Instant messaging was used for “quick questions and clarifications, coordination and scheduling, to discussions of complex work” (p. 505).

FtF communication can cause communicators to look deeply into nonverbal cues, misinterpreting the stated task (Galushkin, 2003). The media richness of FtF communication in the workplace can actually work against productivity because employees can feel inferior and nervous to speak with a manager. Media richness states that the quality of communication is determined by the bandwidth. Communication through instant messaging or text messaging is less “rich” becuase there is no audio or visual aspect, filtering out non-verbal communication like facial expressions and tone of voice. If an employee has to address his/her superior, communication can be of better quality if he/she is given time to formulate their question or response, without worrying about feeling inferior. Galushkin (2003) believes this makes text messaging a more valuable communication method (p. 7). It can also be more useful when used as an additional communication means to facilitate fast communication between users at distant locations (pg. 11).

Instant messaging in the workplace can prove to be productive and distracting. Cameron and Webster (2005) investigate the effects of instant messaging in the workplace. Critical mass was an important factor in determining the number of users that instant messaged in the workplace. One company had the entire staff using instant messaging, while another had less than 20 employees using the communication technology (p. 95). This can be justified by the diffusion of innovation theory. The first company made it past the critical mass making it crucial for all employees to communication through instant messaging. The second company only had the early adopters using the technology, leaving them at the beginning of the S-curve, still waiting to reach the majority.

The status indicator of instant messaging clients gives all users of the system presence awareness, meaning everyone has a general sense of the status of their co-workers (p. 86). They can see if the person they are trying to reach is online or away and how long they have been online or idle. This can be a problem if people frequently have questions for a superior, ultimately affecting their productivity because of the distractions (pg. 93).

The reduced social cues theory states that one cannot received the full message if they cannot see the non-verbal cues associated with a message. In contrast, the symbolic interactionism theory states that the medium itself is a choice, and therefore is a non-verbal cue. “Communication via IM may suggest a light and informal tone, non-authoritative conversation, and the breaking down of hierarchical barriers” (p. 91). Instant messaging has different connotations in different organizations. The medium varies depending on who is using it, and that must be taken into account when evaluating instant messages within certain workplaces.

A study by Avrahami and Hudson (2006) researched how people communicated via instant messages different with co-workers and friends. When participants communicated with co- workers the individual messages were longer, the conversation time was shorter, and the messages were sent at a more rapid pace (p. 509). Conversations with friends consisted of more messages and required less attention. When communicating for work purposes there is usually an identified task that the communicators are trying to complete following specific instructions. Complete attention and quick responses makes this communication more efficient. Avrahami and Hudson clarified their results by predicting with 79.3% accuracy if conversations were work or friend related without looking at the content of the discussion (p. 513).

 

Interpersonal

Early theories on computer-mediated communication regarded text messaging and instant messaging as inferior forms of communication compared to FtF and telephone communication. However, H. Kim, G. Kim, Park, and Rice (2007) state that since computer-mediated communication has become more readily available, media richness is less of a factor for quality of communication. “For example, greater socio-emotional content and relational development in mediated communication” (Kim H, Kim G, Park, & Rice, 2007). They found people that text messages already have an ongoing relationships because they must know each other well enough to determine the context of the short message. Instant messaging and text messaging are used in addition to other forms of communication. Instant messaging is can be used to check in with someone, arrange future FtF meetings, and for daily social conversations (Kim H, Kim G, Park, & Rice, 2007).

Dwyer (2007) found in previous research that social cues are reduced when using communication technology (p. 10). The theory states that computer-mediated communication filters out non-verbal cues limiting the amount of interpersonal communication. Walther’s social information processing model states that the cues are still present, but are learned over time and transferred at a slower rate (p. 1). These cues that have developed over time include the use of emoticons, acronyms, and humor. After communicating with an individual for a lengthy period of time, one learns their habits in any form of communication.

Social cues may be less present in text messaging and instant messaging, but that does not mean it is a less interpersonal form of communication. Hu, Wood, Smith, and Westbrook (2004) found that people often instant message late at night, in their home in privacy. These communication mediums allow for more self-disclosure because people have more privacy. The social penetration theory states that verbal intimacy is developed by self-disclosure. This makes instant messaging and text messaging ideal forms for increasing intimacy in relationships. Also, people that communicate frequently through instant messages have a greater desire to meet in person (Hu, Wood, Smith, & Westbroo, 2004). Teens show the same pattern of self-disclosure through instant messaging. A Pew Internet Study (2005) reported that 20% of teens have used instant messaging to ask someone out, and 19% have broken up with their significant other using instant messaging as well. They state that it is easier to communicate these feelings without being affected by the emotions of the other person (p. 23). Other teens consider text messaging private and “the same as passing notes” (p. 28).

 

Future Use

Text messaging and instant messaging are beginning to overlap. AOL Instant Messenger allows users to send and receive messages via mobile phones, without accessing the Internet. Twitter allows users to update their “microblog” for anyone to see and reply to. Facebook can send users updates to their mobile phones through SMS and allows users to send messages and leave comments on their friends’ walls. The increasing popularity of smart phones and web browsing via mobile devices is blending the line even further. Users can access their entire buddy list, set away messages, and be constantly available to their phone contacts and instant messaging contacts. Several websites exist that enable users to send text messages to mobile phones via computer, and visa versa. Soon there will be no distinction between text messaging and instant messaging because people will have access to the same network of people whether they are at their computer or on the go.

This paper focused on text-based instant messages and mobile messages. Computers and mobile phones are being manufactured with built-in cameras. For computers this means people are able to participate in audio and video chats using an instant messaging client like AIM or Jabber. Users can send photos, music, and files through instant messaging services, and with increased bandwidth it will become normal to video chat with friends, increasing media richness. Obviously voice chat with mobile phones already exists, but with advances in camera phones and increased bandwidth video conferencing via mobile devices is not far in the future. Users mainly use the text aspect of instant messaging, and I believe they always will because of the ability to multitask and the increased privacy. I feel the same for text messaging because people
already use it more than making mobile phone calls.

In the near future I believe more people will use text messaging and instant messaging as standard means of communication. The adoption of instant messaging in the workplace is a solid indicator that it will become the general practice of many Americans. Typing skills may be an issue in adoption of these technologies, but as the generations get older more people will have acquired typing skills and be comfortable with technology. Younger generations have an increased ability to multitask because they have grown up around the technologies. Teens regularly utilize these technologies and are experienced with multitasking and maintaining multiple social networks through a variety of communications. Text messaging and instant messaging continue to grow, and I believe we will see the presence of these communication technologies in many forms.

 

References

  • Avrahami, D. and Hudson, S. E. 2006. Communication characteristics of instant messaging: effects and predictions of interpersonal relationships. In Proceedings of the 2006 20th Anniversary Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (Banff, Alberta, Canada, November 04 – 08, 2006). CSCW ’06. ACM, New York, NY, 505-514
  • Baron, N. S. 2005. Instant messaging and the future of language. Commun. ACM 48, 7 (Jul. 2005), 29-31. Cameron, A.F., Webster, J. (2005). Unintended consequences of emerging communication technologies: Instant Messaging in the workplace. Computers in Human Behavior. 12.1, 85-103.
  • Dwyer, C. 2007. Digital Relationships in the “MySpace” Generation: Results From a Qualitative Study. In Proceedings of the 40th Annual Hawaii international Conference on System Sciences (January 03 – 06, 2007). HICSS. IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC, 19.
  • Galushkin, I. (2003). Text Messages: A potentially rich medium in distributed organizations. PRism 1 Instant Messaging and Text Messaging 12 (1).
  • Grinter, R. and Eldridge, M. 2003. Wan2tlk?: everyday text messaging. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA, April 05 – 10, 2003). CHI ’03. ACM, New York, NY, 441-448.
  • Grinter, R. E., Palen, L., and Eldridge, M. 2006. Chatting with teenagers: Considering the place of chat technologies in teen life. ACM Trans. Comput.-Hum. Interact. 13, 4 (Dec. 2006), 423-447.
  • Hu, Y., Wood, J., Smith, V., Westbrook, N. (2004). Friendships through IM: Examining the Relationship between Instant Messaging and Intimacy. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 10(1), article 6.
  • Kim, H., Kim, G. J., Park, H. W., & Rice, R. E. (2007). Configurations of relationships in different media: FtF, email, instant messenger, mobile phone, and SMS. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 12(4), article 3.
  • Lenhart, A., Madden, M., & Hitlin, P. (2005). Teens and Technology: leading the transition to a fully wired and mobile nation. Pew Internet and American Life Project. i-48.
  • Nielsen Mobile. (September 22, 2008). Nielsen: Texting Now More Popular than Calling. Nielsen Mobile Press Release. Retrieved December 6, 2008, from the World Wide Web: http://nielsenmobile.com/html/press%20releases/TextsVersusCalls.html
  • Rainie, Lee (2005). The Rise of Cell Phone Text Messaging. Pew Internet and American Life Project. Retrieved December 6, 2008, from the World Wide Web: http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/p/1060/pipcomments.asp
  • Thurlow, C. (2003). Generation Txt? The sociolinguistics of young people’s text-messaging. Discourse Analysis Online, 1(1).

Iowa, here I come!

Yay! I’m on summer vacation! Wait, not really. After being out of school for a few days, moving out, and packing I am in Iowa starting my summer job. Waking up at 4 am for my 6am flight was not the best way to start my summer. After the first leg of my flight I wound up in St. Louis where there was thunder and lightning. What was I getting myself into!?! After boarding this flight I met the first member of the REU, Cody. We spoke briefly before I fell asleep and woke up arriving in Iowa. From there we met the next person, Sam, my roommate. The three of us had an amusing camper rental ride getting to know each other and getting lost before arriving at Frederiksen Court. After a short hour of moving in, we met the rest of the group to have dinner at Pam’s house.

Dinner was fun and gave all of us a chance to converse and learn about each other. Everyone was really nice and I can tell we are going to have fun together. We met all of the graduate students as well. After dinner we took a group trip to WalMart. That was nice considering I didn’t have a blanket! I left there knowing I would sleep well. I didn’t feel as bad about shopping at WalMart (what a bad corporation!) after I took many plastic bags from them for trash. That will show them!!!

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Don’t Sleep and Drive

I totaled my car on Monday. Driving west on 50, on the way back from South Lake Tahoe, just east of Placerville. I dozed off for a second, hit a gutter on the side, lost control, and went right through a road sign. Luckily I’m okay and no one else was involved, but my mom fractured her vertebrae. I don’t even like coffee, but I think it might be my new best friend. That is when I start driving on longish trips again. That dent in the front is from the road sign…luckily I hit it pretty straight on, or else i could have flipped over! Say goodbye to my car, cuz thats the last time you’re gonna see it.

I lost my back wheel too...
pretty sweet dent...and the only thing messed up on the inside of the car was one vent broke off and the airbags deploying