To Infinity and Beyond!

Future directions

Social media plays an important role in our everyday lives (Barbulet, 2010). Currently, there is a plethora of research surrounding social media, and how it influences the pragmatic domain in terms of social interaction. However, there is limited research as to what specific para-linguistic and extra-linguistic tools provide context, why we use them, and how they supply contextual information (Justo, 2014; Kunneman et al., 2015; Scott, 2015). Researchers, such as Scott (2015), Kunneman et al. (2014) and Derks et al. (2007), are beginning to explore these elements, with focus directed up the use of emoticons and hashtags. There is limited research regarding the potential benefits these online pragmatics tools may have for clients with pragmatic disorders (Mazurek, 2013). These tools are also relatively new to the Speech Pathology profession, limiting our professional knowledge. It is a priority that we ensure there is future education regarding the understanding of how these tools can be used in online social interactions to support our clients and our profession.

As technology and internet use continues to develop, it can be assumed social media and its forums will too. With this development, the reasons we interact online may change, and so shall the ways in which use language and other pragmatic elements. It is important that Speech Pathologists remain updated with social media use, these pragmatic elements, and their use, in order to provide the best quality service for clients with pragmatic disorders and impairments, in an online world that is constantly changing and shaping the way were socially interact.


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