Chapter 4


  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Being Social
  • 4.3 Face-to-Face Conversations
  • 4.4 Remote Conversations
  • 4.5 Telepresence
  • 4.6 Co-presence
  • 4.7 Emergent Social Phenomena


The main aims of this chapter are to:

  • Explain what is meant by social interaction.
  • Describe the social mechanisms that are used by people when communicating and collaborating.
  • Discuss how social media have changed the ways in which we keep in touch, make contact, and manage our social and work lives.
  • Explain what is meant by telepresence.
  • Give an overview of shareable technologies and some of the studies showing how they can facilitate collaboration and group participation.
  • Describe some of the new forms of social behavior that have emerged as a result of using new social media and communication technologies.

4.1 Introduction

Imagine not having access to your cell phone or the Internet for a week. How would you cope? Would you get bored, start twitching, or even go stir crazy? Would you feel isolated and be constantly wondering what is happening in your online social network? Many people now cannot go for very long without checking the latest postings, emails, etc. on their Black-Berries, iPhones, or computers – even when on vacation. It has become a daily routine and an integral part of their social lives. This is not surprising given that humans are inherently social: they live together, work together, learn together, play together, interact and talk with each other, and socialize. ...

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