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Innovations and Motivations in Online Chat

Innovations and Motivations in Online Chat
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Author(s): Wengao Gong (National University of Singapore, Singapore) and Vincent B.Y. Ooi (National University of Singapore, Singapore)
Copyright: 2008
Pages: 17
Source title: Handbook of Research on Computer Mediated Communication
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Sigrid Kelsey (Louisiana State University, USA) and Kirk St.Amant (East Carolina University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-863-5.ch065

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Abstract

This chapter examines the defining linguistic innovations and social motivations for one of the most popular modes of computer mediated communication: the online chat. Due to its nature of being largely synchronous, anonymous, and mainly text-based, online chat offers a social interactional environment where people can experience the feeling of making new friends or acquaintances, psychologically experiment with different identities, and explore new relationships without the shyness that face-to-face interaction can bring. The largely informal and recreational nature of online chat, together with the time constraints that force communicators to come up with interesting ways to sustain efficient communication, turns online chat into a frontier of linguistic innovation. In turn, this leads to a deeper understanding of the nature of online communities.

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