Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Don’t Let the Digital World Divide: Face-to-Face Communication Still Critical

I just got back from a meeting in Tampa. Following the meeting, a group of us went to the hotel bar to continue the conversation.

Guess what happened instead?

Everyone sat “playing with” their iPhones and BlackBerrys! What little conversation there was revolved around the latest apps.

Somehow, with the need to communicate quicker, and more easily, we seem to have lost the art of the conversation.

You know … actually talking to people.

When I think of the time it takes to post a tweet on Twitter, send an e-mail, or to update a Facebook page, I also think about how many people we could have actually spoken to, if we just picked up the phone.

What’s happening in our workplace when colleagues who work next to each other end up texting instead of getting up to chat face to face?

What does that say about interpersonal communications? Is this really a way to build a relationship?

Believe me, I am a proponent of using the latest social networks -- check me out on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Naymz – but NEVER in lieu of meeting people for coffee, or phoning someone and having a real conversation.

Business particularly is all about the connections you make – and these are much more effective when done face to face.

Reading words on a screen, even with a video and/or audio element added, is and never will be the same as having a real dialogue in person.

Many times there are subtle nuances to communication and body language that “speak” far greater than actual words. How does this non-spoken “conversation” get conveyed online?

In the search to expand our networks, I truly believe that something is being lost.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

1 comment:

B Jitu said...

yes , nothing beats face to face meetings.