Politeness Strategies used by Students in Communicating Through WhatsApp
Lack of politeness in society has begun to increase irrespective of the interlocutors in the communication process. There have been some concerns pertaining to the way people talk digitally, mainly because in today’s digital world there are massive ways of communication. Hence, certain communicators tend to apply distinct strategies when communicating, especially when using an advanced and instant platform such as WhatsApp. This is due to the differences in the nature of information exchange between the traditional oral and the online written communication. This research was conducted to identify the types of positive and negative politeness strategies used by students in WhatsApp conversations. Positive and negative politeness strategies refer to strategies which are implemented when interlocutors interact with each other regardless of the social distance they share. This research is based on Brown and Levinson’s (1987) theory of politeness. This qualitative research was conducted in several stages. It involved collecting 50 WhatsApp conversations from students. The frequency and percentage of positive and negative politeness strategies were tabulated, and the type of positive and negative politeness strategies used by students in these WhatsApp conversations were identified. The major finding of the study indicates that students demonstrated more positive politeness strategies when sending WhatsApp messages to those they are close to such as family and friends, but used more negative politeness strategies when communicating with strangers. Therefore, this study may impact WhatsApp users particularly students with reference to decency even though this study is limited to only written form of data using WhatsApp application. However, the limitation is not prominent since maintaining politeness or decent manners may come from various platforms regardless written or verbal.
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