Photo courtesy of Wallflower83
Trust without touch: jumpstarting long-distance trust with initial social activities by Jun Zheng, Elizabeth Veinott, Nathan Bos, Judith S. Olson, Gary M. Olson
Commentary by Latu Evelyn Fusimalohi
This article explores what it means to “trust” both in the virtual world as well as the real world. Specifically, interactions through CMC, also known as “Computer-mediated communication”, as well as traditional in-person interactions, are tested against each other to show the effectiveness of meeting someone in person prior to interacting with them online, through online chatting or via email, as opposed to interacting without having ever face-to-face interactions. More trust exists when there have been a face-to-face establishment prior to interacting through the internet. Meeting in-person establishes 3 key aspects: “interactivity”, “visibility” and “social information”. All three aspects lead up to trust. In conclusion, the article shows that in order for CMC to be effective, there should be a face-to-face interaction prior to interacting online, thereby increasing the level of trust, resulting in a more comfortable social contact.