The Phatic Function and the Socializing Element of Personal Blogs
Abstract:The phatic function of communication is a vital
element of any conversation. This research paper looks into this
function with respect to personal blogs maintained by Indian
bloggers. This paper is a study into the phenomenon of phatic
communication maintained by bloggers through their blogs. Based on
a linguistic analysis of the posts of twenty eight Indian bloggers,
writing in English, studied over a period of three years, the study
indicates that though the blogging phenomenon is not conversational
in the same manner as face-to-face communication, it does make
ample provision for feedback that is conversational in nature.
Ordinary day to day offline conversations use conventionalized
phatic utterances; those on the social media are in a perpetual mode
of innovation and experimentation in order to sustain contact with its
readers. These innovative methods and means are the focus of this
study. Though the personal blogger aims to chronicle his/her personal
life through the blog, the socializing function is crucial to these
bloggers. In comparison to the western personal blogs which focus on
the presentation of the ‘bounded individual self’, we find Indian
personal bloggers engage in the presentation of their ‘social selves’.
These bloggers yearn to reach out to the readers on the internet and
the phatic function serves to initiate, sustain and renew social ties on
the blogosphere thereby consolidating the social network of readers
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