Face to face interaction


Tom Wilson wrote a long paper on digital interaction/social communities. Long story short, down with email, up with immediacy and face to face. Helping to refresh the list of reasons why I hate emails longer than 3 lines.

Miscommunication – In a study reported by New York Times, it was found that face-to-face interaction is full of information. We interpret tone, body language, pacing and other factors besides the verbal message to convey a message being transferred. In sending an e-mail, typed words lack rich emotional information that would have been transferred through a phone conversation. Many times words have different meanings through different tonal pitch inflections and pitch inflection can create a positive or negative spin on a sentence. Through e-mail their is no verbal tone, no verbal pitch which can create confusion in interpretation, especially when communicating with an anonymous individual (Goleman 2007:1).

Although e-mail is quick and efficient, it increases the chances of miscommunication and mis-interpretation, leading to possible conflicts which could have been avoided with a personal phone call.(Daniel, 2007) The use of e-mail also leads to the decline in phone conversations, which creates social isolation, as the time it takes to respond to e-mail is not instant as in a real conversation. The use of e-mail creates a social isolation and a distant connection that lacks emotional content that can lead to a decline is social capital.

One Reply to “Face to face interaction”

  1. The guys from 37 signals are big on the no (or minimal) meetings approach. Which I agree with in part. I can’t tell you how many wasted hours/days I’ve spent in meetings.

    I also could say the same of pouring over countless emails.

    The issue revolves around the nature of the dialog more than an absolute rule to determine what the best channel of communication is.

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