Notes on Defining of Computer-Mediated Communication, by John December
People Employ CMC for Their Purposes
Just as context is sort of an inescapable ether in which actions take place online, so too are purposes part of actions online. You could go turn to mass media perspectives, labeled "functional," which see people as satisfying their needs through media use (Palmgreen, 1984).
Regardless of the model for the mechanisms, people don't go online for no reason. The reason may be "to play," "to waste time," or even "to be cool," but there is a reason.
Moreover, the purposes people give for using the Net and Web relate to their context, with factors such as peer pressure and social context influencing online behavior (Lea, 1992).