Sunday, December 1, 2013


#JimmyFallon #JT #besties #funny #lol #latenight #comedy #singer #comedian #lol 

Okay, this is a blog about communication theory, right? So what the heck do JT and Jimmy Fallon have to do with that?! I mean they're funny and all, but like hashtags are just something to people do on twitter... right?

Well, you're in for a little surprise, because hashtags do have a place in comm theory! Specifically, the Symbolic Convergence Theory. Ill explain to you through this post how they work and you'll see their purpose is a little more than just something to put at the end of your tweet.

Everyone is part of a group in some way or at some point. Group communication is based on task functions  (ex. just a regular office scene, communicating for purpose) or in social function (ex. PARTY, communicating just because).

When you communicate as a group, cohesion is the part that makes the team work #teamworkmakesthedreamwork. Cohesion is important, it makes people feel bonded, they enjoy being part of the group, and they share an identity. 

This SCT (Symbolic Convergence Theory) explains just a little bit of that cohesion! Let me help you understand with an example.

Hashtags and their part of this theory couldn't be better explained, then a story with my two best friends. 
<------This is them!

One of us in the middle of the car ride, started speaking in hashtags. The hashtags were dramatizing messages according to SCT. This theory says that dramatizing messages are comments made by a group member that is imaginative, show a new scene, or relate to other situations. These could be things like; jokes, puns, figures of speech etc. Things like HASHTAGS.

This hashtag thing became a #realthing. We ALL started speaking in hashtags. I mean like having entire conversations just in our own hashtag language. This dramatizing message turned into a fantasy chain. You're probably like, "Okay Amanda, what term are you making up now?" I'm not! A fantasy chain is part of this theory. This is when a dramatizing message is picked up and used by the whole group. They keep adding layers, it's a next step.

Every time we were talking, texting or messaging it wouldn't be long until someone started a hashtag. It could be triggered by something we saw, something one of us said, something we wanted to share. These triggers are known as a symbolic cue. It started the fantasy chain all over. It happens so often sometimes, that other people around us get annoyed (#sorryimnotsorry).

When you start sharing these fantasy chains and continue sharing them, you create symbolic convergence. It brings people all on the same level, sharing a consciousness, it becomes a we and the group becomes more cohesive. You work better together, because you're all sharing this thing that bonded you in the first place.

You heard my story with hashtags, but hashtags are a global thing! Or even a community thing!

That's because these fantasy chains have the ability to move past a small group to the public at large. Hashtags created a shared symbolic reality. Enough so, that they inspired that video for Jimmy Fallon and JT. That's why they are the perfect example of this theory! Experiencing these fantasies bonds the group, whether large or small, because it is something you can all share. It brings in group cohesiveness and all goes back to how the group communicates!

So go on and share those hashtags, tell that joke, watch a show with your friends. When you share more, you become closer. That's kinda what this theory is about!



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