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The rationale for developing a theoretical model of computer-mediated communication (CMC) competence is established through review of social trends in the use of new media technologies. Special attention is paid to the role new media play in the formation and development of personal relationships. A model of CMC competence is then developed along the lines of motivation, knowledge, skills, context, and outcomes as a metaphorical typology for organizing existing CMC research. This research is reviewed as it informs, and is organized by, the model of CMC competence. A sampling of formal propositions resulting from the model is elaborated, and the results of preliminary pilot studies of the model are reviewed. The model is offered as a first step in examining individual differences in the domain of CMC relationships and media choice.