Disadvantages Of Computer Mediated Communication (Essay Sample)

Disadvantages of Computer Mediated Communication


Computer mediated communication is largely categorized into two. The first form is the real time communication while the other form communication between parties does not occur at the same time. Some examples of real time communication methods involving computers include Skype, video conferencing and phone calls. This type of communication has some drawbacks such as the lack of non verbal cues for phone calls, expenses such as airtime and internet connection cost and the fact that computers and other similar telecommunication devices rely on power and broadband connectivity which is not always available. Asynchronous communication or communication that does not occur in real time involves text messages and use of messaging apps such as Facebook and Whatsapp where one only receives messages sent to them only when they are logged into the applications. These methods have detriments the biggest being that they cannot be used to relay urgent information.

Lack of Quality Communication

Communication via computer is lacking in many ways when compared to real human communication. For asynchronous communication such as emails, phone messages and messages through applications, the responses may not be immediate as one has to be logged into the applications or website in order to view or receive messages sent. Therefore it is impossible to send urgent messages using asynchronous communication .Computer mediated communication is also of poor quality due to the lack of non verbal cues with the exception of video calls and Skype. Non verbal cues are able to give more meaning to communication since one can observe responses of the other and understand the emotional impact of their messages. Responses received through computers may not be sincere facial expressions and body languages are not conveyed together with the voice or typed message.

Cost of Communication

Communication via computers, phones, tablets and other devices is expensive due to the numerous costs associated with them. Some of the costs include the cost of electricity, call costs, data costs, costs of purchasing messaging apps and computer system maintenance fees. When plugged in, these devices consume a lot of power which must be paid for in bills. Airtime or call minutes must be purchased to enable a phone user make calls or send text messages. For asynchronous communication to occur, one has to purchase data or pay for internet connectivity which allows one send emails, make video calls, Skype or send messages using messaging applications. Computers must be coupled to a number of accessories such as routers and servers which require frequent maintenance by experts and the services come. All these costs are a major drawback to computer mediated communication.

Reliance on Electric Power

Computer mediated communication biggest drawback is its reliance of electric power. Computers with the exception of laptops require to be plugged in to a wall sockets for it to operate. Laptops, mobile phones and tablets use batteries in built in them to function. The batteries on these devices are usually run out within a few hours of their use. These means they have to be recharged by use of a wall sockets too. This is a disadvantage since it means for any communication to be achieved, persons on both ends of the connection have to be close to a power source or spend a considerable time prior to the communication next to a socket. Even with both communication devices connected to power, other networking devices such as routers have to be powered up too.


As discussed above, computer mediated communication has some very serious setbacks.  The inability to see the body language and facial expressions puts into doubt the sincerity of the communication since a person’s non verbal cue may conflict with his or her words especially when the message received is peculiar. Communication using computers as an interface has proved to be costly due to the bills such as call cost, data cost and maintenance fees and power bills. The fact that computers and similar communication devices rely on electricity is huge disadvantage.  Computer mediated communication means individuals have to be close to a power source such as a socket always which is impossible making it inconvenient at times.

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