Electronic bumper stickers: The content and interpersonal functions of messages attached to e-mail signatures

Stephen A. Rains, Geoffrey R. Tumlin, Mark L. Knapp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The two-phase study reported here examined the content and communication function served by electronic bumper stickers (EBSs). EBSs consist of the sayings that are included in an e-mail signature file following personal identifiers such as one's name, phone number, and postal address. In the first phase, 334 EBSs were gathered and content analyzed into one of five message categories. In order of frequency (greatest to smallest frequency) they were: wisdom, humor, advice, religious, and socio-political commentary. In the second phase, open-ended responses from 134 EBS users were coded into one of six motives for interpersonal communication (Rubin et al., 1988). The relationship between one's motive for using an EBS and the content of one's EBS was not statistically significant. The implications of EBSs and e-mail use for mediated communication competence are considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-120
Number of pages16
JournalDiscourse Studies
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2009

Keywords

  • Bumper stickers
  • Computer-mediated communication
  • E-mail
  • E-mail signature
  • Memorable messages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language

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