Herring (2008) attempts to bring ideas on computer-mediated discourse as a way to show that the study of the language used in social media is of great concern. Being that most social media sites are modern, Herring acknowledges that human-human communication via computer networks is a recent thing. In her ideas, she focuses on computer-mediated language and argues that is less correct, coherent and complex. Also, she states that the language that is used on social media differs according to the cultural and social context. A careful study of this computer-mediated discourse shows that language use can reveal the identity of the user whether he is educated or not, while he is trying to mask himself. Moreover, on media, especially social media the age of user can be revealed by the content of the message (namely, life experiences) that the user post.Herring assumes that the identity of the gender in social media can be expected easily by the stereotypical behaviors that are attached to each gender (viz., shame for females and verbal abuse and insults for males). In addition, gender differences can be revealed by the linguistic behavior as the assertiveness, length, and politeness that appeared in the content of the message. She also claims that the computer users use semiotics, particularly emoticons to show facial expressions such as; teasing or happiness and to replace “social cues”. Another related study conducted by The Telegraph newspaper, which states that 8 out of 10 people use emoticons. The use of emoticons increased rapidly because they are simpler and easier in expressing sentiments than using text.In addition to the above studies, statistics of how men and women have been using Twitter and Instagram also holds. In Saudi Arabia, nearly 85% of men use Instagram because they have more accessibility towards mobile apps than women (Abouzeid, 2008). In fact, most women tend not to be interested in the photo-sharing services. Other countries in the Middle East also have mainly male Instagram user bases. An example is Iran, where 82% of its male population uses the site (Eid, 2004).
Abouzeid, O. (2008). Projects of Arab Women Empowerment: Current Status and Future Prospects. Cairo: Arab Women Organization.
Briggs, C. L. (2005). Reviews: Discourse. Language in Society, 21, 683-710
Herring, C.S (2008). Handbook of Discourse Analysis. Oxford. Blackwell
Carter, Cynthia & Steiner, Linda. (2004). Critical readings: Media and gender. : Open University Press.
Gauntlett, David (2008). Media, gender and Identity An introduction. 2nd edition. London: Routledge.
Waisman, O. S. (2010). Body, language and meaning in conflict situations: A semiotic analysis of gesture-word mismatches in Israeli-Jewish and Arab discourse. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Pub. Co.
Magalhães, I. (2005). Critical discourse analysis and the semiotic construction of gender identities. DELTA vol.21 no.spe São Paulo. Retrieved on May 11, 2015 from < http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0102-44502005000300011>
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