Tips, tricks and tutorials for the technology you use everyday

Digital vs. Face-to-Face Conversations

How often do you actually sit down with family, friends, or co-workers to have a face-to-face conversation?  No…Skype doesn’t count!  How often do you email, text, or send instant messages throughout the day? I thought about this for a while and discovered that most of my conversations happen through some form of digital communication.

I’m either talking on my cell, texting (not while I’m working of course!) or emailing someone for about 12 hours per day. There are even times at work when someone who is sitting 6-10 feet away sends an instant message instead of walking over to talk. I have a certain friend that I met about a year ago. I bet I’ve heard this person’s voice and seen his/her face less than a dozen times,  but probably received thousands of text messages from him/her! I almost feel like I would be stepping over the invisible communication line by calling or suggesting we meet somewhere for a conversation!

Have we as a society placed digital communication on the same level as face-to-face communication? We’re raising a generation of bloggers, Twitterers, and texters. Will this new digital generation understand the art or rules of communication? Or will these skills simply not matter in the future? How do you prefer to communicate? Good old fashioned face-to-face conversations or using some sort of digital communication?  Weigh in and let us know your thoughts!

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9 Responses »

  1. I am 14 years old, living among the new, more technologically advanced generation. I know very few people my age who would dare say any of the things we say online when we are talking to the person face-to-face. I don’t believe that these new ways of communicating are a positive influence on society. I am usually the only person in the classroom to be taking notes in my book, not on our laptops.
    I have also noticed that when compared to times when letters were the prime way of communicating, writing now is more of a task than a tool. I assume that writing a letter 100 or even 50 years ago was not a chore or a difficulty, but a means to communicate, just like writing a text. In today’s society however, to write a letter is a very tedious task. To us, writing a letter would be a requirement, a request, whereas back then writing was a choice.

    • I forgot to mention, that I am however grateful for these new methods of connecting to others. Being a somewhat introverted, I find excessive interaction with others, such as a gathering of a group of friends at the movies or something, tiring. While most in my generation gain energy and unwind by being with others, I am the opposite. Technologies such as instant messaging over Facebook, Twitter, etc. are a way of communicating to my friends without actually having to interact with them face-to-face. However, this shyness might be a result of the technological revolution. If we couldn’t communicate over the internet, people like me would cease to exist in a way. We would need to learn to communicate face-to-face casually and without tiring or getting frustrated. But then, we would have been doing that for all our lives, and not need to get used to it.

  2. Digital communication should never be on the same level of face-to-face communication. I myself have always been a very private person and like the fact that digital communication, esp texting allows for quick messages to be sent, without possibly being caught in a long conversation. But when it comes to close family members, I would rather be inconvenienced with a long conversation face to face than skyping or texting.

  3. I enjoy the new technology, I have become so use to texting, emailing, and using facebook that going to visit anyone has been something of the past. However, I do miss them all very much. I also agree with a lot of you, when you say there is nothing like face to face conversation.

  4. I like this method of communicating but still theres nothing like face to face.

  5. I believe that face-to-face is always going to be the appropriate way to communicate. I used to text and email all the time. I found that when I went to write a letter or make a grocery list I was looking in the sky to spell words. Like Ronda, I only speak on the phone when necessary. Not being able to interact physically, takes the bonding out of the picture. You can’t read or react to a person’s body language because you can’t see it. Yes, you can misread a person’s body language in face-to-face, but the margin of error increases when using a webcam.

    I can say more and explain things better when I speak aloud. I can’t say the same for my son(who is so used to texting and emailing). He can barely speak and get his point across without using words that, I feel, are made up. I got upset when he started texting me from his bedroom…

    It’s not what you do….It’s how you do it….don’t take out the best part of communicating…

  6. I am an old fashioned girl and much prefer the face-to-face communication. I use a computer at awork all day and since I gave up my land line several years ago My cell phone is my only phone. I talk to friends and family on the phone but even that is only when necessary. I much prefer to communicate face-to-face. I’m not sure we can have true relationships digitally.

    Have a nice day.

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