Week 5 Theory: SIP
SIP stands for Social Information Processing Theory. This long, wordy term basically explains how people form and manage relationships online through non-verbal, computer-mediated environments and social interactions. Having given my social media presentation to the group, it was really interesting talking to my coworkers in a verbal, physical way, about how to build and maintain successful relationships, that are built off of a screen-to-screen foundation. Some people meet others by simple emojis. One of my friends met someone by commenting an emoji on their picture, thus starting a conversation, and eventually a friendship. Even with Dominos Pizza, a simple pizza emoji sent to a certain phone number equals ordering a pizza.
Relationships these days don’t have to start organically in the sense of knowing someone offline first, versus knowing them online first. A lot of relationships and friendships these days are build using the Social Information Processing theory in that texting is a huge part of relationships, sometimes more than face-to-face interaction if you’re referring to a long distance relationship. Skype’s slogans depend on people’s need and want to continue communication via Internet and screen time. Computer mediated communication may have been fairly rare when this theory was made, 1992, but nearly twenty years later and Joseph Walther’s theory definitely has the right idea, almost too commonly practiced.