Canary et al. defines interpersonal communication as the “exchange of symbols used to achieve interpersonal goals.” (Canary et al., 2008) What I like the most about this definition is the focus on goals. When it comes down to it, nearly everything we as humans do is to accomplish a goal. Now a goal can be as large as desiring to place first nationally in a sport or as small as getting to class on time. In relation to interpersonal communication, goals can vary in the degree of abstractness, clarity, challenge, immediacy, and number. This covers a wide range of goals and therefore covers a wide range of reasons why people engage in interpersonal communication. The term “symbols” is used in Canary et al.’s definition for interpersonal communication “…include verbal and nonverbal representations of ideas, emotions, objects, or events.” (Canary et al., 2008) Again, I appreciate the clarity Canary et al. provides. I think interpersonal communication encompasses a lot and although other lenses may agree with that, some like the Relational Lens, described by Floyd, are much more vague in their definitions.
Floyd’s Relational Lens includes three models, the Action Model, the Interaction Model, and the Transaction Model. The Action Model I find to be too simple and Floyd even states that...
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...ey are going through. I do keep in mind that my experiences may be different from theirs so I am trying to keep an open mind. At a basic level, the beginning of the conversation with each friend began with the goal to maintain and strengthen the relationship if possible. My goal evolved to show I was ready to help if necessary. More simply put, I saw a chance to try being a good friend and fulfilling that opportunity became my goal. However, I am unsure how successful I was at accomplishing this goal in each situation. What I do know is that I can still be better.
Looking at the Relation, Quality, and Social Media, and Goal Lenses has been interesting. When trying to decide which lens I liked the most, I found it difficult since they all bring good points. In the end, the Goal Lens was winner due to its detailed, yet open definition, and honest nature it brings out.
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