Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Influence of Technology in Modern Life: Social Networks

Influence of Technology in Modern Life: Social Networks The accessibility of the new information technology has led that social structures change, and with it the ways of relating to others. With this process of change has created what is known as virtual communities, Rheingold defined the virtual communities as a group of social aggregates which arises from internet when a group of people create public discussions long enough to create networks of personal relationships in cyberspace. (Rheingold, 1993, The Virtual Community,). Thus individuals create new social networks where they can exchange information anytime, anywhere, depending on their needs and desires. Issues such as that new information technologies can interfere interpersonal relationships are increasingly questioned by several studies that analyze the impact positive and negative to the use and abuse leads. The aim of this essay is to discuss the pros and cons of the effects that are producing social networks. The influence of technology in modern life entails negative and positive aspects, Bauman (2010) argues that contemporary men are desperate to relate, however they avoid a permanent relationship, for fear of the tensions that might imply, contrary to what which are not able or willing to endure, as they would limit the freedom they need. The relations are characterized by the ambiguity and they occupy the spotlight of modern individual’s liquids, being the priority in their life projects. Digital communication has caused formal changes in communicative genres and materials in interpersonal relationships (Laborda Gil, 2005). Interpersonal relationships are in constant transformation in everyday human being, and this transformation have influenced the new technological applications generating changes in interpersonal communication. The fact that digital interactions between people increases, is creating a different perception of space and time, a sense of immediacy of events and an acceleration in the process. Interpersonal relations is mutual interaction between two or more people. It involves social and emotional skills that promote effective communication skills, listening, conflict resolution and authentic self-expression. One of the first theorists to dedicate himself to the study of interpersonal behavior was Leary (1957), defining it as any behavior that is related open, conscientious, ethical or symbolically with another real or imagined collective human. Today, we tend to regard interpersonal relationships and cognitive processes as two sides of the same coin, as it begins to pay more attention to the emotional and motivational aspects involved in the interaction, and integrate the contributions from the field of interpersonal theories. This is how it leads to the deepening understanding of the cognitive processes that are involved in interactions with other individuals. However, from a critical look Bauman (2010) argues that people rather than tra nsmit their experience and expectations in terms of relationships and relationships, talk about connections, connecting and staying connected. Instead of talking about couples, prefer to speak of networks. Unlike relations, kinship, partner or any other idea that emphasizes mutual commitment; disengagement network represents a matrix that connects and disconnects at the same time. In networks both activities are enabled at the same time, ie connect and disconnect are equally legitimate elections, equal status and equal importance. The network suggests moments of being in contact and other time to snoop; in the networking the connections are established on demand and can be cut as desired, being able to be dissolved before becoming detestable. The pre virtual relationships and real relationships are replaced by virtual relationships or connections. These latter are easily to access and output, are characterized by being sensible, hygienic, easy to use, friendly for the users, as oppo sed to the heavy, inert, slow and complicated the trues. The relationship between users of social networks goes from vertically to horizontal, enabling a fictitious equality, in which any user becomes emitter producing their own content, and even as a receiver transmitter information for Caldevilla Domà ­nguez (2010) these new forms of communication and interaction, emerge new threats to privacy, if does not differ the public for each of the profiles, being one of the disadvantages of using networks, the identity spoofing and individualism as possible trend to the actual isolation from sociability network. The absence of direct perception of the body and the inaccessibility of the same in cyberspace constitute a limit whose intersubjective effects are paradoxical, as it is lived as both defect and deficiency in the relationship, or as possibility of eliminating a factor of discrimination against others. The difficulty, would lead search reinforcing relations to others through other means with which manages to avoid physical presence or direct exposure in social situations and can remain anonymous or develop a fictitious, or even personality, leave the virtual relationship without negative consequences directly perceptible. Pretend downplay changes in human relations that the new virtual culture presents is to deny the possibility of believing that a new era related between social media and individuals are emerging. These relations between both parties requires significant knowledge to recognize and use those tools to approach the other from the place that elapses your experience. It will be left to the professionals responsible for an election that contributes to the growth and welfare of those who demand service. References Bauman, Z. (2003).Liquid love. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press. Bergo, B. (2006).Emmanuel Levinas. [online] Plato.stanford.edu. Available at: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/levinas/ [Accessed 6 Apr. 2015]. Caldevilla Dominguez, D. (2010).Las redes sociales. TipologiÃÅ' a, uso y consumo de las redes 2.0 en la sociedad digital actual. EspanÃÅ'Æ’a: Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias de la Informacion. Internet Archive, (2015).Interpersonal diagnosis of personality; a functional theory and methodology for personality evaluation : Leary, Timothy, 1920-1996 : Free Download Streaming : Internet Archive. [online] Available at: https://archive.org/details/interpersonaldia00learrich [Accessed 6 Apr. 2015]. WhatIs.com, (2015).What is virtual community? Definition from WhatIs.com. [online] Available at: http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/virtual-community [Accessed 6 Apr. 2015]. http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/virtual-community Bauman, Z. (2010). Amor Là ­quido: acerca de la fragilidad de los và ­nculos humanos. 1a ed. 13 ª reimp. Buenos Aires: Fondo de Cultura Econà ³mica. Laborda Gil, X. (2005). Tecnologà ­as, Redes y Comunicacià ³n Interpersonal. aà ±o XII nà ºmero II (24) / 2011 fundamentos en humanidades 229 Efectos en las formas de la comunicacià ³n digital. Anales de documentacià ³n, N °8, pp. 101-116. Leary, T. (1957). Interpersonal diagnosis of personality: A functional theory and met- hodology for personality evaluation. New York: Ronald Press. Caldevilla Domà ­nguez, D. (2010). Tipologà ­a, uso y consumo de las redes 2.0 en la sociedad digital actual. Documentacià ³n de las Ciencias de la Informacià ³n, vol. 33, pp. 45-68. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/levinas/ https://archive.org/details/interpersonaldia00learrich Vodafones Entry into Japan: An Analysis Vodafones Entry into Japan: An Analysis Globalization is regarded as a tool which has facilitated the movement of businesses from independent market economies to an inter-reliant and incorporated global economy thereby reducing trade barriers between countries and continents. (Hill, 2007). With the reduction of these trade barriers many companies have grown from Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) to Multi-National Enterprise (MNE). Through international growth and globalization these MNEs are recognisable world wide. One such organisation is the Vodafone group which is a telecommunications company founded in the United Kingdom. Vodafone is currently ranked as the 11th most valued brand in the world and 2nd in Europe. (Vodafone, 2009).According to Anwar (2003) they have achieved this status by using different market entry strategies to expand their enterprise via acquisitions and joint ventures with Orange (UK), Air Touch and Verizon (USA) and Mannesmann (Germany). Although Vodafone has been successful in the above listed c ountries, its entry into Japan failed after a few years due to reasons which will be explained later in this essay. This is the main reason for the choice of Vodafone as a case study. This essay will first give an outline of Vodafones history and then provide a review of theories which influence global expansion and internationalization, as they relate to market entry, business strategy and culture. Following this a case study of Japans mobile market and an analysis of Vodafones operations and strategies as they affect its entry to and exit from the market will be provided. Finally, recommendations based on their choice of strategy will be made. Company Background Vodafone was created in 1991 as a subsidiary of Racal Telecom (RT) which was formed in 1984. RT was created from a joint venture between Racal Strategic Radio Ltd (80% which was a subsidiary of Racal Electronics Plc and winner of one of the first two cellular telephone network licenses in the UK), Millicom (15%) a US-based Communications Company and the Hambros Technology Trust (5%), a UK-based venture capital fund. The name Vodafone was coined with the first four letters of its name denoting its services (VOice Data Fone). (Vodafone, 2009) Vodafone has become a very prominent mobile operator in the world with a large presence in Europe, America, Asia, Middle East and Africa. Its services include but are not limited to mobile advertisement, network business, distribution business, retail shops, data services, Short Messaging Service (SMS), multi-media portal, third generation (3g) licences and data and fixed broadband services. (Vodafone, 2009) Over time Vodafone has expanded into different parts of the globe including, Belgium, France, Greece, Germany, Italy, France, Romania, USA, Egypt, Kenya and South Africa to mention a few. (Vodafone.com, 2009) Vodafones early success has been attributed to its usage of key niche strategies and first mover advantages regarding location economies. This helps gain market share which leads to economies of scale and earning curve advantages through the utilization of its core competencies in foreign markets. (Anwar, 2003; Pan et al, 1999) Vodafone entered the Japanese market in 1999 when it inherited stakes in nine regional mobile phone companies through its merger with US rival Air Touch making it the second largest shareholder in the market at that time. Another reason for their entry into the Japanese market was that they considered the market as very vibrant and it would give them a technological edge over domestic and European rivals. (Anwar, 2003; Dodourova, 2003; Kim et al, 2009) Theoretical Review In considering global expansion, companies need to make decisions about the choice of market to enter, timing, products to be sold and market entry mode. (Hill, 2007). Market entry modes refers to the way in means an organisation chooses to enter a particular market such as are exporting, franchising, foreign direct investment, international joint ventures and wholly owned subsidiaries. (Hill, 2007; Root, 1994) Although all these forms of entry have been used by Vodafone, for the purpose of this paper specific attention will be paid to the use of acquisitions and joint ventures (JVs) as entry modes, since they have been used repeatedly by Vodafone in different locations including India, Japan, Egypt, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Spain and Australia. (Vodafone, 2009; Anwar, 2003). An acquisition is a situation whereby a firm acquires a company in an intended market while a joint venture involves the combination of two or more firms to create a company. JVs enable firms to split the necessary risk and capital required for international ventures. They usually involve a foreign company with a new product and a local firm with access to distribution and local knowledge such as culture, political and business systems. However, using JVs has its disadvantages as firms face difficulties merging different cultures and some parties may not understand the strategic intent of their partners which may lead to problems (Root, 1994; Pearce and Robinson, 2007;Hill,2007 ). On the other hand, acquisitions allow firms to make very rapid international expansions and can be accomplished quickly. However, they are very expensive and legal regulatory requirements and organisational culture may act as barriers. Despite these drawbacks they are considered a very safe means of global expansion. (Ives and Jarvenpaa, 1991, Pearce and Robinson, 2007) The internationalization model (Uppsala) advices that global expansion is a learning process and that the more experience a firm gathers it strengthens its dedication to foreign markets. (Hollenson, 2004). However, most firms have to consider the level of global integration and local responsiveness (both are at alternative ends of the standardization scale) required in the target market. This is known as I-R framework, since it is a necessity for firms operating in multiple country locations to be responsive to market (cost reduction) and governmental demands (local needs) for each location. Bartlett and Ghoshal (1989) divided the framework into four strategies, namely global, International, Multi-Domestic and Transnational. However, many companies tend to shift from one strategy to another in an attempt to meet local demands and capitalize on competitive advantages. (Bartlett and Ghoshal (1989) in Roth and Morrison, 1990; Hill, 2007, Pearce and Robinson, 2007) Vodafone attempted to move from the global to the transnational strategy because they largely ignored local responsiveness and lost market share as a result of the international strategy. The advantages and disadvantages of the global and transnational will now be examined. Global integration indicates the fusion of different national economic systems into one global market. A key aspect is the pressure of cost reduction while local responsiveness refers to the readiness of firms to make modifications to their products, services, and ways of doing business at local levels considering local culture and needs. (Hill, 2007; Pearce and Robinson, 2007)The core focus is of the global model is on high global integration since firms sell standardized products in and across all national markets with minimal levels of local adaptation. Also, most business decisions are made from the firms central office as there is a great need for resource sharing and cross border co-ordination which is sometimes difficult to achieve. Organisations use this strategy due to high levels of competition in the global market and all Strategic Business Units are mutually dependent. As a result of this the firm attempts to maximize the advantages of location economies and the experienc e curve and it is not very concerned with responsiveness to local markets. Location economies refer to the advantages a company would accrue from being in a particular location and the experience curve that shows the level of experience gained based on reduction of production cost. Many MNEs, such as McDonalds in the United Kingdom, have used this strategy successfully. Others for example Vodafone in Japan, have failed due to the level of local responsiveness needed for the location. (Daniels et al, 2009; Hollenson, 2004; Hill, 2007; Weber, 2007, Kim et al, 2009; Pearce and Robinson, 2007; Bartlett and Ghoshal (1989) in Roth and Morrison, 1990) The Transnational strategy focuses on satisfying the condition of local responsiveness and global integration irrespective of pressure levels for both factors. Its has been suggested that this strategy be used if cost pressure and local responsiveness are high or low as they fluctuate depending on the level of development of the country or location and globalization. (Bartlett and Ghoshal (1989) in Roth and Morrison, 1990; Hill 2007) This approach allows MNEs to tailor their products and marketing practices to the intended market and more profit is made in a situation where cost reduction pressures are not great and the firm can increase price. Although in situations where cost reduction pressures are high the organisations make try to make profit from other means. (Roth and Morrison, 1990; Weber, 2007) According to Hill, (2007) this strategy is difficult to implement as firms attempt to balance economies of scale, attain low costs through location economies, experience curve effects, local responsiveness and global learning (Global learning refers to the transference of knowledge and products between the firms head office and its subsidiaries). The difficulty arises from organisational problems because there is a need for firm central control and organization to achieve efficiency, local flexibility and decentralization to attain local market receptiveness. This is aside from the need to acquire global and organisational learning for competitive advantage. CASE STUDY The Japanese mobile industry was considered a year or two ahead of the rest of the world and was ready for Vodafone to enter because Japans market was more technologically advanced than most other European telecommunication markets. It was the pioneer country for the third generation network {3G} and the European market was becoming saturated and competition and regulatory pressures were forcing prices lower. (Economist, 2004; Fackler and Belson, 2005; Yamauchi et al 2004). Also the Japanese market was highly competitive and Japan was the first country to introduce a packet switched wireless network {DoPa}; the first to introduce wireless internet {i-mode} in 1999; the first to introduce camera phones, 3Gs in 2000 and 3.5G in 2003. Japan had advanced broadband communications system as early as 2000. (Yamauchi et al 2004; Kim et al 2009; Chen et al 2007) In addition, the Japanese market is known for its opposition to foreign investors and has always been considered as a hard market to penetrate as consumers usually favour local brands over foreign products. Also Japans governance has a strong hold on corporate activities and many organization owners usually do not do sell or merge with foreign investors unless they are convinced of the firms performance levels which in turn makes acquisitions and mergers with foreign investors a difficult process.(Anonymous,2002) VODAFONE IN JAPAN. As mentioned earlier Vodafone entered Japan in 1999 as a result of its Acquisition of Air touch in America which gave it a 26% stake in J-Phone a Japanese mobile phone group by 2000 Vodafone had acquired an estimated 60% of J Phone. Vodafone took its time before entering the Japanese market. This approach paid off as they could not afford a hostile takeover as was the case when they acquired Mannesman in Germany because this could have affected their relationship with other Japanese stakeholders. (Anonymous, 2002; Blokand, 2007; Anwar, 2003) After its acquisition J Phone seemed to be making progress as it rose to become the 3rd largest telecommunications group in Japan by 2002 as its subscriber base had exceeded 12 million in the same year. J Phones target population prior to its acquisition was young adults and they had developed handsets with gadgets that were appealing to the young generation. They also introduced the Sha-mail (Picture messaging service) which marked the beginning of the picture messaging trend in Japan. Their marketing campaigns involved using Japanese pop stars and idols to attract new customers (Blokand, 2007; Dodourova, 2003) However, with the introduction of Vodafones globally standardized product things began to change. Vodafone introduced handsets which were acceptable in Europe to Japan ignoring the fact that Japan was more technologically advanced than Europe. As a result of this J Phone (re-named Vodafone KK in 2003) began to loose its customer base. Also in an attempt to create a global brand Vodafone delayed the launch of its 3g service (which allows customer watch videos and use teleconferencing) because they wanted to create a global product allowing their local competitors such as the KDDI group and NTT DoCoMo to commence 3g usage one year ahead of them. Eventually, when Vodafone KKs 3g package was finally launched supply was limited because the 3g handsets were being shipped from overseas. (Hill, 2009; Blokand, 2007; the Economist, 2004) Also inadequate investment in network infrastructure caused Vodafone to suffer bad network connection that caused them to lose subscribers. (Euro-Technology, 2009) Vodafones choice of strategy for its expansion into Japan is obviously the global strategy advocates the standardization of all products and services irrespective of the level of local responsiveness required in the location. Vodafone attempted to change strategies by involving so level of local responsiveness(from global to transnational) via the introduction of handsets tailored for the Japanese market to rectify its underestimation of Japanese customers peculiarity by offering them what they required instead of what the company wanted. Also the Japanese government in 2004 brought in new regulations against handsets which could be roamed since there was a propensity for them to be used by criminals. (Euro-Technology, 2009; Anwar,2003) However due all the above listed reason Vodafone KK struggled to retain its market share from 2002 to 2004 (See Diagram) .Its competitors like DoCoMo, who was the market leader with about 56% share and KDDI with about 23%. Diagram I: Mobile Phone Subscribers Net Growth Source: The Economist, 2004(September 30th Edition) By 2004 when KDDI had moved most of its subscribers to the 3G technology and DoCoMo had moved about 10%, Vodafone had been able to connect only 1% of its subscribers (Economist, 2004). By February 2005, Vodafone had gained 527,300 subscribers while KDDI and DoCoMo had gained 10 million and 17 million 3G subscribers respectively. By October 2005, Vodafones figures dropped by 103, 100 subscribers while DoCoMo and KDDI had attracted 1.65 million and 1.82 million subscribers respectively. At this time, Vodafone KK had captured only 4.8% of the market. (Blokand, 2007; the Economist, 2004; Lewis, 2006) Vodafone sold its Japanese branch to Soft Bank in March 2006 and by October in the same year Soft Bank reported a year-on-year sales revenue increase of 144.3%, with operating profits up a staggering 260.4% because they used a purely localized approach and catered to the markets needs. (Jing, 2009) Nevertheless, Vodafones global strategy succeeded in Germany although according to Weber (2006) Germany was a few years behind Japan considering the obtainability of mobile services, such as data services, 3g, cameras and music phones. It was able to utilize its economies of scale and experience curve advantages, to maximize profits. Vodafone applied a slightly different strategy in entering this market as it merged with Mannesmann via a hostile bid for the company whilst it was in financial trouble. Mannesmann acquired Orange (UK) in 1999 and faced difficulties recuperating its investment. Vodafone saw this opportunity and bid for Mannesmann to subvert other companies like WorldCom or ATT acquiring the company. (Boemer, 2007) On entry into the market in 2000 Vodafone divested some of Mannesmann subsidiaries to recover funds. However, it is apparent from the above that the challenges Vodafone in Japan were much more complex in comparison to Germany. Its main competitors are T-Mobile, E plus and O2. At inception the Vodafone introduced its standard products from the United Kingdom like Voice calling and SMSs, mobile internet was not introduced until 2003 as it was not popular and Vodafone decided not to begin this service in Germany till 2005. (Boemer, 2007; Weber, 2006; Henten et al, 2004) Vodafone utilized different forms of marketing approaches but the most successful was its loyalty packaged dubbed stars introduced in 2002 helped it increase its market share substantially. Furthermore by 2005 Vodafone had gained 35% market share followed by O2 which had 32% then E Plus with 19% and T-Mobile had 14%. This was a total opposite of Vodafone performance in Japan. (Von Kuczkowski, 2005) In addition Japan is noted for being at the helm of technological development called gijutsu rikkoku in Japanese which means technological nation building and it exports its technology. Therefore it is possible to assume that the Japanese would be more interested in high-tech gadgets and services than Germans. (Boemer, 2007; Weber, 2006) The difference in cultural practices must not be ignored because the German business circle was not controlled by Guan Xi which refers to the relationships between people in a community the higher and tighter the level of Guan Xi a person has in China and Japan the better his business prospects within the country .(Yeung and Tung, 1996) Vodafone Japan did not generate a trustworthy brand image in the Japanese market and failure to tailor their product to the needs to its customers, which is a major faux pas in marketing and company survival made matters worse. Recommendations Vodafone in Japan would have succeeded if it had avoided using a global strategy as it had the capability to succeed, if it had considered the tastes of the people and attempted a transnational approach to its expansion plans. Also, Vodafone should have used its competitors products and services offering as a benchmark for its own services. Instead of taking a one size fits all approach into Japan as this had a negative impact on its services and performance. Similarly, if Vodafone had tried to satisfy its customer base of students and the younger population before endeavoring to penetrate a new market of families and the corporate world. Moreover, considering that J-Phone had been on a market increase streak for over five years, Vodafone should have used J-Phones local knowledge of the market and combined its experience create a winning team instead of trying to create a global brand and cut cost by introducing a large number of handsets that could be sold throughout the world. Private and Public Self: A Comparison of Identities Private and Public Self: A Comparison of Identities Private self is the information regarding to a person which he/she has difficulties to express publicly. Public self is the perspective other people view an individual as portrayed in public information, interaction with others and public action. Generally, public self relies on the public for definition but it’s also the individual’s perspective of the way he/she appears and steps taken when in public. Mostly, public self and private self is revealed in speaking and actions. Private and public speaking is generally feared almost by everybody. Some people will avoid public speaking at all costs. Sometimes, the avoidance may lead to missing a great chance to make an impression which is good and/ or long-lasting, opportunity to sell their product or themselves. Development of authentic speaking has made it easy for the improvement of the way people come across, and reduction of the people’s feeling of fear before and during their presentation. Authentic speaking de fers from other approaches since it doesn’t inculcate any other methodology or technique to the individual and the learning involves experience. Authentic speaking gets the individual to meditate on what he or she is thinking before speaking. Once the speaker opens their mouth to speak, he/she should be relaxed, comfortable and in a good mental state. Therefore, thorough preparation and mental awareness of the speaker’s own talk is paramount. In order for the individual to feel better and prepared for the task ahead, he/she should acknowledge the â€Å"script† and then rewrite it. This is due to the fact that the task (talk) has a profound impact on how the individual will feel. Physical posture is also necessary in creating confidence in a presenter. The presenter may adopt an upright and proud posture, but not trying to hide from the audience. Mostly, the reason as to why people fear public and private speaking is due to self-consciousness. Self-consciousness refers to an acute sense of self awareness. It is opposed to the philosophical definition of self-awareness since it is a pre-occupation with one’ self, the awareness that an individual being exists. An individual may have an unpleasant feeling of self-consciousness when he/she comes to know that other people are watching or observing him/her. The unpleasant feeling of self-consciousness is occasionally paired with paranoia or shyness. When an individual is self-conscious, he/she becomes aware of his/her own actions no matter how small they are. A person’s ability to perform complex actions can be impaired by such awareness. a person may be shy or introverted if he/she has a chronic tendency towards self-consciousness. Being excessively conscious of a person’s appearance or manner is at times problematic. Shyness and embarrassment, where the resul t is low self-esteem and lack of pride can be paired with self-consciousness. During high self-consciousness period, people come to the closest understanding themselves objectively, and this has potential to have impact on development of identity. The impact of self-consciousness has varying degree in people since; some are self-involved or constantly self-monitoring while others are quite and totally oblivious about themselves. Private self-consciousness is a norm to examine or introspect one’s inner self and feelings, while public self-consciousness is self-awareness resulting from other people’s views. Both types of self-consciousness are objectively personality traits which are considerably stable over time though there is no correlation between them. Public self-consciousness may lead to social anxiety and self-monitoring. Behavior is affected by various levels of self-consciousness since it is normal for people to act differently if they â€Å"lose themselves in crowd†. This can result to an inhibited and regularly destructive behavior. Different people have varying tendencies of self-disclosure. Self-disclosure is the means of communication where a person reveals himself/herself to another. It includes all that an individual choses to disclose to the other person about him/herself, to make him/her known. The information can be evaluative or descriptive and can comprise of aspirations, feelings, thoughts, successes, fears, failures, dreams, goals, as well as one’s favorites and dislikes. As social penetration theory poses, there are two self-disclosure dimensions which are breadth and depth. These dimensions are essential in developing a relationship which is fully intimate (Modell, 1993). Breadth disclosure is the range of topics which two individuals discuss while depth disclosure is the degree to which the revealed information is private or personal. Breadth disclosure is easier to be expressed first in a relationship since it has more accessible features which comprise layers of personality and daily live s such as preferences and occupations. It is considerably difficult to reach depth disclosure since its inner location comprises of painful memories and traits we keep secret from most people. Intimacy relies much upon self-disclosure which is expected to be reciprocal and appropriate. Assessment of self-disclosure can be done through analysis of costs and rewards. During early relational development is where most self-disclosure takes place but more intimate disclosure comes later. As social penetration theory poses, development of a relationship is relative to systematic changes in communication. Generally, relationships start with exchange of superficial information and eventually move to conversations which are more meaningful. It is essential to increase breadth and depth of a conversation if partners need to develop a more intimate relationship. Conversations between partners usually begin with â€Å"small talk† which provides little revelation about the speaker’ s information. It reaches the intimate level where the breadth and depth of the conversation increases and more personal details are revealed till it reaches the very intimate level where couples share extremely private information. Development of intimacy in relationships can only develop if both parties reciprocate disclosures. If only one partner reveals more intimate details while the other continues to disclose superficial information only, intimacy will not develop. The reciprocity process needs to be gradual and partners should match the intimacy level of the disclosures. Revelation of too personal information too soon causes an imbalance in the relationship and therefore making the other person uncomfortable. The gradual process differs from relationship to relationship and may depend on the communication partner. Reciprocity is the positive response from a person with whom one is sharing information. It can be described by three theories which are: norm of reciprocity, social exchange theory and the social attraction-trust hypothesis. The norm of reciprocity poses that reciprocating disclosure is a social norm and failure to adhere to it makes a person uncomfortable. The social exchange theory states th at people try to maintain equality in disclosing themselves since an imbalance in self-disclosure makes them uncomfortable. Social attraction-trust hypothesis states that people disclose themselves to one another since they have the belief that the person who they disclose the information to, likes and trusts them. There are two types of reciprocity which are extended reciprocity and turn-taking reciprocity. The extended reciprocity is where disclosure takes place over a period of time while turn-taking reciprocity is when there is immediate self-disclosure between partners. Disclosure and responsiveness form the key components for intimacy. The range of topics which individuals disclose (breadth) also varies in different cultures. For example, people from the American culture tend to reveal more personal topics like relationships, body, finances and other issues concerning their health and personality than any other cultures. This is not the case when it comes to individuals from the Japanese culture. The Japanese are very conservative and mostly don’t reveal their personal issues to the public. Also, the degree of how personal the topics to be reveled are also varies across different cultures. These include feelings, thoughts and also more impersonal topics like hobbies and interests. Some individuals prefer not to reveal their feelings and private thoughts while holding conversations as they feel that this will make them seem vulnerable or insecure. The negative or positive aspect of the topic to be revealed is also an important factor that also varies in different cultures. For example a person participating i n a debate may feel that revealing a real life event that took place and had a negative effect on them may help them prove their point. However, this person may end up hurt as their opponent may not get this and may also end up using the fact to their own advantage. The individuals that tend to reveal more personal issues than others undergo more psychological problems. When establishing a relationship, there is a time period that one takes before they can fully disclose to the other. Individuals from cultures that are more conservative tend to withhold much information until they feel that the relationship has grown and they can trust the other party. Revelation of too much personal information before the relationship has grown is considered inappropriate, some other cultures however, disclosure is done after a very short period of time. The target party, to whom an individual discloses themselves, is also an important factor that is considered in many communities. For example, spouses trust each other hence, they self-disclose almost everything. Some consider the age of the target and what topics are appropriate to disclose to them. According to Alder and Proctor (2007), self-disclosure is important and at the same time it can have unfavorable outcomes. For instance, self-disclosure can help strengthen the relationship between two individuals by improving the trust between the two. It can also increase one’s influence over the other individuals and can also be used as a way of bringing out the good qualities in an individual. At the same time self-disclosure may reflect vulnerability in one’ self and may also make the other party develop a negative attitude towards the relationship leading to its termination. There are various factors to consider before a person decides to self-disclose. Sometimes, disclosure of information can be harmful than helpful. The discloser must weigh if the probable benefits level the risk. Self-disclosure is most useful when used constructively and when revealing relevant information in reasonable amounts to a person who reciprocates with their own disclosures equally. It is also crucial to reveal information that could probably save someone from harm or to help them. References Adler, R.B., Proctor, R.F. (2007).  Looking out looking in (12th Ed.). Belmont, CA:Thomas Learning, Inc. Baumeister, R. F. (1986). Public self and private self. New York: Springer-Verlag. Modell, A. H. (1993). The private self. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.