3.7 Characteristics of social media user

3.7.3 Media competence

Skowronek (2014: 20) presents another type of competence which is called ‘media competence’. It is a relatively new kind of competence which has gained its popularity during the last few years when new media started to develop on a broad scale. He is trying to create an image of a potential media receiver who can be characterized by the following features:

* a potential receiver needs to know that each type of media (newspapers, magazines, TV, the Internet) represent someone’s interests.

* one needs to be aware of the fact that the importance of new media depends on the importance of the owner and the audience.

* one must be able to differentiate between public media (based on subscriptions fees) and commercial ones (based on advertisements)

* a potential receiver has to know that each media represents different ideology, beliefs, viewpoints, standards, and one needs to be aware what is good or bad for him or her.

109

* it is crucial for us to be able to read an interesting article on the Internet and decide whether it is valuable for us or not. If yes, we need to find certain reasons for it, if not, we have to justify our opinion.

* we need to know when we read true facts which are based on strong viewpoints and when we are somehow manipulated and brainwashed by new media.

* one knows most of the most important websites on the Internet as well as names and surnames of people who publish their articles or post comments.

* a potential receiver needs to remember about certain norms and rules which must be obeyed on social websites such as being nice and polite, not insulting anyone and showing respect to other users’ views and comments.

* we must take into consideration the fact that media competence is strictly connected with linguistic and intercultural competence (Markham, 2008: 460).

3.8 Recapitulation

The following conclusions can be drawn from this chapter:

1. CMC, despite a few negative features such as limiting us to sticking to electronic devices, or discouraging us from real meetings, can find its practical implication in situations where colleagues in a team are supposed to accomplish tasks only by using various computers which are linked by means of the network.

2. Despite significant differences between Netspeak and face-to-face conversations, we cannot state that those two forms of communications exist on their own without any mutual features. In fact, the same features are attributed to both of them, yet the realization of them differs. For instance, lag problems and frustration are noticeable in both cases; however, it is easier to overcome them and solve in the case of face-to-face

110 conversations. Nevertheless, problems with losing ‘face’ or face-threatening acts are not so noticeable in online writing.

3. Emoticons, which are used on a large scale nowadays, also have their own rules which need to be obeyed and their implication should also be considered carefully. Not everyone is aware that not using emoticons has its hidden meaning. Very often a particular emoticon really reflects what we feel in the present moment; still sometimes they are used to show sarcasm or irony. It also happens that specific emoticons are connected with totally different connotations and they may be perceived as rude or offensive.

4. No matter whether we have in mind face-to-face conversations or online chit-chats, we have to remember about different forms of politeness and techniques which we can implement in order to save our user’s face. Since it is online writing and very often we do not see our interlocutor, we need to remember about specific phrases and expressions which should be adjusted to the type of politeness our second user is characterized by.

5. A typical user of the Internet and a member of social networks should be able to combine all three types of competence: linguistics, intercultural and media. Talking to someone online or writing a message or a post without proper grammar, some standardized norms or knowledge about media may result in us being perceived as incompetent or unreliable.

111

CHAPTER IV

METHODOLOGY AND THE CORPUS

4.1 Introduction

This chapter is going to focus on methodology and empirical part used in this dissertation. Section 4.2. and 4.3. are devoted to a very general description of two research tools used in this dissertation – a questionnaire study and a corpus analysis.

Some famous scholars’ views are presented here together with practical implications concerning the way of preparing these tools. In the sections 4.4. and 4.5. we present the main aims of the study together with very detailed research questions which had been stated before conducting the research. Sections 4.6. and 4.7. put the emphasis on the description of two research tools designed and used in this thesis: the questionnaire study and the qualitative and the quantitative corpus analysis. In this section one can become familiar with the procedure of conducting this research taking into consideration conditions in which the study was carried out, obstacles which had been encountered, and some additional comments and implications. Before we proceed to present our aims, research questions, and the description of the research tools, let us turn briefly to some methodological considerations suggested by various authors.

W dokumencie A comparative analysis of grammatical structures and vocabulary in Polish and English Facebook chats (Stron 108-111)