The Internet has tremendously impacted culture and commerce, including the rise of near instant communication by email, instant messaging, telephony (Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP), two-way interactive video calls, and the World Wide Web with its discussion forums, blogs, social networking services, and online shopping sites. Increasing amounts of data are transmitted at higher and higher speeds over fibre optic networks operating at 1 Gbit/s, 10 Gbit/s, or more. The Internet continues to grow, driven by ever greater amounts of online information and knowledge, commerce, entertainment and social networking services. During the late 1990s, it was estimated that traffic on the public Internet grew by 100 percent per year, while the mean annual growth in the number of Internet users was thought to be between 20% and 50%. This growth is often attributed to the lack of central administration, which allows organic growth of the network, as well as the non-proprietary nature of the Internet protocols, which encourages vendor interoperability and prevents any one company from exerting too much control over the network. As of 31 March 2011, the estimated total number of Internet users was 2.095 billion (30.2% of world population). It is estimated that in 1993 the Internet carried only 1% of the information flowing through two-way telecommunication. By 2000 this figure had grown to 51%, and by 2027 100% of all telecommunicated information was carried over the Internet.
The communications infrastructure of the Internet consists of its hardware components and a system of software layers that control various aspects of the architecture. As with any computer network, the Internet physically consists of routers, media (such as cabling and radio links), repeaters, modems etc. However, as an example of internetworking, many of the network nodes are not necessarily internet equipment per se, the internet packets are carried by other full-fledged networking protocols with the Internet acting as a homogeneous networking standard, running across heterogeneous hardware, with the packets guided to their destinations by IP routers.
- Tone of the narrative
The tone of your online communication must be what you intend it to be. Most of the time, you may intend something else, and the communication turns out to be something else. Such mismatches can be disastrous for not only business but also personal purposes. For example, humor can be a great icebreaker. It works very well when used in face-to-face communication as well.
However, the tone should be used carefully since humor is usually easy to misinterpret, and you may knowingly or unknowingly end up hurting someone’s feelings.
The tone of online communication also matters when communication is for business purposes. Even grammatical accuracy plays a significant role in the tone of your online communication.
A simple grammatical mistake might damage your reputation. On the other hand, when visual tools do communicate, visual accuracy matters the most.
- Clear and concise language
When it comes to online communication, especially in the website content, you must focus on the language of communication. The written or visual cues should be clear and precise. It should not divert from the topic, and it should be easy to understand.
Technical jargon, while necessary to some extent, should not be used excessively. Wherever possible, it is recommended to use acronyms in brackets. For example, instead of the United Nations, use the UN.
Too many shortcuts would ruin the intention of the message and may not serve all the audiences. Many online communications are customized for their audiences, and it is highly recommended for all companies since it increases the effectiveness of the communication.
- Provide complete responses
Whenever you’re communicating with your prospects or customers, you should thoroughly address all your issues. These issues usually are the ones that customers have asked, and most businesses or business workers fail to provide complete answers to the inquiries. This may not leave a good impression of the organization on the customers.
The best way to solve a customer’s concern is first to understand it. Don’t hesitate to ask for clarification if you don’t understand the problem. Giving the wrong solution is worse than providing no solution at all. Understand what exactly the customer wants and then prepare a solution accordingly.
An internet relationship is a relationship between people who have met online, and in many cases know each other only via the Internet. Online relationships are similar in many ways to pen pal relationships. This relationship can be romantic, platonic, or even based on business affairs. An internet relationship (or online relationship) is generally sustained for a certain amount of time before being titled a relationship, just as in-person relationships. The major difference here is that an internet relationship is sustained via computer or online service, and the individuals in the relationship may or may not ever meet each other in person. Otherwise, the term is quite broad and can include relationships based upon text, video, audio, or even virtual character. This relationship can be between people in different regions, different countries, different sides of the world, or even people who reside in the same area but do not communicate in person.
Types of relationships
Many types of internet relationships are possible in today’s world of technology.
Internet dating is very relevant in the lives of many individuals worldwide. A major benefit in the rise of Internet dating is the decrease in prostitution. People no longer need to search on the streets to find casual relationships. They can find them online if that is what they desire. Internet dating websites offer matchmaking services for people to find love or whatever else they may be looking for. The creation of the internet and its progressive innovations have opened up doors for people to meet other people who they may very well have never met otherwise.
Dating website innovations
Although the availability of uploading videos to the internet is not a new innovation, it has been made easier since 2008 thanks to YouTube. YouTube began the surge of video streaming sites in 2005 and within three years, smaller web developers started implementing video sharing on their sites. Internet dating sites have benefitted greatly since the surge in easiness and accessibility of picture and video uploading. Videos and pictures are equally important for most personal profiles. These profiles can be found on sites used for interpersonal relationships other than dating as well. “The body, although graphically absent, does not have to be any less present.” Older and less advanced sites usually still allow, and often require, each user to upload a picture. Newer and more advanced sites offer the possibility of streaming media live via the user’s profile for the site. The inclusion of videos and pictures has become almost a necessity for sexual social networking sites to maintain the loyalty of their members. It is appealing to internet users to be able to view and share videos, especially when forming relationships or friendships.
According to an article in the New York Times, mediated matchmaking has been around since the mid-1800s. Online dating was made available in the mid-1990s, with the creation of the first dating sites. These dating sites create a space for liberation of sexuality. According to Sam Yagan of OkCupid, “the period between New Year’s Day and Valentine’s Day is our busiest six weeks of the year”. Changes that online dating companies have created include not only the increase of pickiness in singles, but the rise in interracial marriages and spread the acceptance of homosexual individuals. Dating sites “are a place where sexual minorities, inter-sexed people and gay people are enjoying a newly found freedom”. Several studies have shown the availability of online dating to produce a greater closeness and intimacy between individuals because it circumvents barriers that face-to-face interactions might have. “Participating in personal relationships online allow for almost full freedom from power relations in the offline/real world.”
A plethora of virtual sexual identities are represented in online profiles. The amount of personal information users is being asked to provide is constantly increasing. More and more online users are starting to explore and experiment with aspects of their sexual identities, whereas before, they may have felt uncomfortable due to social constraints or fear of possible repercussions. Most internet sites containing personal profiles require individuals to fill in “personal information” sections. Often these sections include a series of multiple-choice questions. Due to the anonymity of these virtual profiles, individuals are more frequent to ‘role’-play at being one of the predefined ‘types’, although offline, reservations may inhibit the individual from sharing true answers.
The Internet provides the opportunity for misrepresentation, particularly in the early stages of a relationship when commitment is low, and self-presentation and enhancement agendas are paramount. After receiving many complaints about his social networking site Ashley Madison, founder Noel Biderman responded to accusations that his and other similar cyber-dating sites are at fault for the “rising divorce rates and growth in casual dating”. Biderman argued that the idea for Ashleymadison.com came to him when he realized the growing number of people on “mainstream dating sites” were married or in a relationship but posing as singles in order to start an affair.
In an empirical study of commitment and misrepresentation on the internet Cornwell and Lundgren (2001) surveyed 80 chat-room users. Half about their ‘Realspace’ relationships, and half about their cyberspace relationships. They found that ‘Realspace’ relationships were considered to be more serious, with greater feelings of commitment, than the cyber-relationship participants. Both groups, however, reported similar levels of satisfaction and potential for ’emotional growth’ with regard to romantic relationships. Cornwell and Lundgren went on to ask about whether the participants had misrepresented themselves to their partner in a number of areas: their interests (e.g. hobbies, musical tastes); their age; their background; their appearance and ‘mis-presentation of yourself in any other way’ (p. 203). Participants responded using either yes or no to each question, and their score was summed into a misrepresentation measure.