The purpose of this paper is to explore some of the influences that computer‐mediated communication (CMC) has and could have on the maintenance of interpersonal relationships. In doing this, ethical dilemmas and implications that arise from the technical affordances offered to CMC participants are discussed. Relational maintenance is integral to people's everyday lives. Yet, the ethical issues involve in using CMC to support this have not been explicitly explored.
The concept of relational maintenance will be explored independently and as it relates to CMC and ethics. This paper will examine current literature and briefly discuss a pilot study relevant to these areas. The pilot study consisted of a survey distributed to undergraduate students in non‐platonic long distance and short distance relationships.
The exploration of prior literature and the findings of a pilot study support the notion that, with the increase of CMC use to maintain relationships follows the potential increase of unethical behavior in this medium. A number of ethical questions have risen that can be used to inform and direct future research.
This paper is original as it explores the concept of ethics from a relational maintenance perspective through electronic communication. It adds value by integrating these three areas and enhancing the understanding of this integration, while providing information of both theoretical and practical relevance.
Hales, K. (2009), "Ethical issues in relational maintenance via computer‐mediated communication", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 9-24. https://doi.org/10.1108/14779960910938061Download as .RIS
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