Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2012

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis


Communication Studies

First Advisor

Richard Conville

Advisor Department

Communication Studies


We are in a technological revolution, where “Generation Next” is surviving and thriving in a digital world. New and improved methods of communication through technology have altered the way we live and communicate. Today’s young adults, who have grown up with personal computers, cell phones and the internet, are living in a whirlwind of innovation and advancement “and are now taking their place in a world where the only constant is rapid change” (Pew Research Center, 2007). They cannot remember or imagine a world without such advanced technology. Modes of digital communication such as the cell phone, internet, and social networks are seen as a vital connection to the outside world.

Guided by a literature review, several concepts and factors that have been previously published will guide the underlying themes of this study. In this thesis, I will describe the extent to which CMC is embedded in the lives of college students. Through this study, the research questions and data will test the displacement theory of communication, as well as discover how a technology fast can be improved for the use of Higher Education and research among college students. Both survey and interview data will add to our knowledge of how college students’ computer-mediated communication affects their broader communicative world. If anything else relevant is found throughout this study, it will be noted as well.

Included in

Communication Commons