Marquette conduct study on international text etiquette

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:55 am

Marquette University communication professors recently conducted a study to examine text message behaviors in India and the U.S. Researchers have found that interpersonal norms in text messaging behavior between college-age students differs greatly between the two countries.
“Few investigations have examined the social functions of mobile technology,” said Robert Shuter, study lead and professor of communication studies in the Diederich College of Communication at Marquette. “Most of these studies explore the cell phone as a medium of talk rather than text messaging.”
Shuter calls the research the study of international ‘textiquette.’
Shuter and collaborator Sumana Chattopadhyay, an assistant professor of broadcast and electronic communication at Marquette, studied 137 participants for the study.
Each participant sent and received text messages in a specifically designed text log that recorded the context in which the message was sent or received, who each participant was with and the reaction of  that person or persons; and what constitutes impolite text messaging behavior.
 “The results strongly suggest that two culturally different textiquettes – the interpersonal norms that guide text messaging – appear to be developing in India and the U.S.,” said Shuter. “Further, the study demonstrates that text messaging and culture seem to be inextricably linked.”
According to Shuter, the study indicates that American’s, both male and female, are more apt than Indian men and women to send and read messages in a social setting including restaurants, shops and movie theaters. American’s also reported more types of impolite texting behavior than do Indians and Indians tend to send and read text messages more frequently when they are with family members or a boyfriend or girlfriend while Americans tend to send and receive more texts messages when they are with strangers, acquaintances or friends.
Shuter presented the study in June at the International Communication Association conference in Singapore. The study demonstrates how, when and with whom American and Indian men and women text one another and also demonstrates texting behaviors that these cultures find impolite. The study will be published in the November 2010 issue of the Journal of Intercultural Communication Research.

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