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8 Great Things About Face-to-Face Communication Most People Don’t Do Anymore Because of Technology

8 Great Things About Face-to-Face Communication Most People Don’t Do Anymore Because of Technology

For those of you who are under 30, you might not even remember a time when people didn’t constantly check their phones for texts, Facebook/Instagram/Twitter profiles, when they’re in someone else’s physical presence. Even talking on the phone has become a lost art for many people these days.

While we’re all in favor of technological advances, sometimes you have to mourn the loss of real communication, the kind that makes you feel good. You know, the kind that doesn’t require an electronic object to deliver your message.

Here are eight great things about face-to-face communication that most people don’t just don’t seem to do anymore thanks to the ever growing technology of our time.

1. Looking into each other’s eyes.

And no, we’re not talking about looking at someone’s eyes in a selfie on Facebook or Instagram. We’re talking about having their eyes just inches or mere feet away from yours.

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When you look into someone’s eyes, it connects the two of you. Sometimes it’s almost like you’re looking deep into their souls. You just can’t get that when someone texts you a photo of themselves. It’s just not the same.

2. Touching someone’s hand.

Body language comprises 80-90% of the real meaning of a message. But using technology to talk doesn’t give you the opportunity to reach out and touch someone (and no, we’re not talking about “Ma Bell” … which most young people probably don’t even know about).

Giving a hug, playfully giving an elbow jab, or touching someone to say, “I care”, is just something that can’t be done over Facebook.

3. Having someone’s full attention.

Nothing says, “you don’t matter to me” as much as being with someone who constantly checks their texts or picks up the phone when they’re with you. Instead, it says, “hold on – this person is more important than you.”

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While it may have become the “new normal” to do that, it is still disrespectful. What ever happened to the Golden Rule? If you want someone to pay attention to you, then you need to do the same – and put your phone away!

4. Receiving support & understanding.

Imagine sending a good friend of yours a long email asking for advice about something. No matter the content, you can’t help but think, “This would be so much better if I was actually looking at him face-to-face so I could explain it better.”

But because you live far enough apart where it’s not possible to see each other that often, you resort to email. Even the phone would be better that an email response. Sure, you’ll still get that sage advice, but nothing beats the interaction with your live human friend.

5. Growing your mind with deep conversation.

Talking about celebrity gossip and the funny cat video you just saw on Facebook can be fun, but it doesn’t help you become a better person. Talking with someone face-to-face helps you get into some pretty deep conversations.

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You can learn about yourself, the other person, or something you never knew before. Have you ever tried to get into a deep conversation over text? Well, not everyone’s fingers work as fast as others’! You could cover a lot more ground and in half the time if you can jut have discussions face-to-face.

6. Flirting.

Okay, admit it. How many of you have received texts or emails from someone you’re romantically interested in and thought, “Oh my…what did he/she mean by that?” Then you’re texting you best friend saying, “Okay, he said this .. what did it mean? Does he like me or is he just being nice because he ended his sentence with a smiley face?”

It’s better to see his or her real smiley face in person though. Messages are so often misinterpreted when they aren’t spoken in someone’s physical presence.

7. Sharing your innermost thoughts and emotions.

It’s scary sometimes to pour your heart out. We risk rejection that way. And that’s probably why people “test the waters” with texting, emails, and social media messages. It’s easier to hide behind your phone or computer than it is to look into someone’s eyes and share your feelings.

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But it’s so much more rewarding to do that! Getting a text that says, “luv u” isn’t as satisfying as someone hugging you tight and whispering the words, “I love you” into your ear.

8. Having someone really “get” you.

The energy that is exchanged with people when they are face-to-face can really lift you up. Talking in person allows you to really dig deep and really get to know each other. And when people know you, they understand you. Even if you have differences, you still can “get” each other because you spent quality time with them…one-on-one…face-to-face.

Sure, today’s technology is exciting and important. But we can remember fondly the days of face-to-face interactions. Maybe you should try “traveling back in time” and re-creating what it was like to live when we all actually talked to each other! You might just like it.

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Carol Morgan

Dr. Carol Morgan is the owner of HerSideHisSide.com, a communication professor, dating & relationship coach, TV personality, speaker, and author.

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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