We live in a world today where face-to-face communication is decreasing because of the increase of technology. In person interactions have changed because cellular devices get in the way of the conversation. People find that it is easier way to have conversations that are broader because they know that people are less focused on the conversation and more focused on the screen that is in front of their face. Many articles have found that face-to-face communication is adjusting because individuals are becoming less engaged in person due to the distraction of technology. This topic is very important to discuss because it is negatively affecting interpersonal relationships and changing people’s views on face-to-face communication.
With the increase of cell phone use, comes the decrease of face-to-face communication. Face-to-face communication allows individuals to sense body movements and/or facial expressions of the recipient of the conversation. Mercola (2015) created a survey on whether individuals would prefer to meet with someone in person or communicate through the phone. 87% of the surveyors said that they would prefer to meet in person because they believed it would be more productive. These participants said that it would be more productive to communicate face-to-face because they would be able to see the facial expressions, eye gazes, and other body movements of the recipient. The article states that when individuals meet in person it allows their brain to synchronize with others.
Having the ability to observe a nonverbal cue lets both the sender and the receiver of a conversation understand where the other is coming from. Therefore, Dr. Mercola concludes that when face-to-face communication decreases, individuals lose the ability to read others. Dr. Mercola’s study was completed over three years ago and technology has increased a lot since the article has been written. This raises several concerns because it brings up the question of what is face-to-face communication going to look like three years from now when technology increases more? A lot is at stake here because face-to-face communication is going to decrease drastically. That means that people aren’t going to know how to talk to one another, which means that individuals are going to become more dependent on their technology devices.
When individuals text, they do not have the ability to see the other person. This takes away the visual and auditory cues of voice dynamics, body language, and facial expressions that help express meaning and emotion (Suler, 2010). Without face-to-face interactions, individuals lose the capability of dissecting someone’s tone of voice. Suler (2010) explains that without the tone of voice, it is very easy to misinterpret a sarcastic text message. Sprencher, Wickes, & Wickes (2009) explain that text-based conversations allow more time for individuals to communicate. For example, there are situations where an individual takes a few hours to respond to a text message. In this scenario, the conversation continues right where it was left off because there hasn’t been any other form of communication in between. However, if the conversation between the two individuals were in person, the communication would be completed in a shorter amount of time. When an individual takes more time to respond to a message it might also give them more time to interpret what the other has to say because they have time to reread the message as many times as they want. When text messaging, individuals have the ability to edit their responses.
Face-to-face communication is very crucial for ensuring that people will continue to have significant interpersonal relationships. The reading, Stop Googling. Let’sTalk., by Turkle discusses how technology is negatively affecting face-to-face communication. The reading talks about how conversations are become broader because technology devices are distracting people. The article states, “Conversations are kept relatively light, on topics where people feel they can drop in out.” People aren’t getting the attention they deserve because the people they attempt to tell a story to are too distracted on their phones.
The article also talks about how teenagers from this generation are trying to create new rules for the future generation. For example, one 15-year-old complained that his parents allow him to have his phone at the kitchen table. He said that he wants to make sure that his children don’t have their devices on the table because it distracts them from face-to-face communication. Having phones away from the table will ensure that the family will have interactions with one another rather than worrying about all of the distractions from technology. It is very crucial that all teenagers have this mindset because that is going to be the only way the new generations change face-to-face communication in the future.
This youtube video shows individuals in two different scenarios. The first scenario are scenes of individuals sitting next to each other with their devices in hand and the second scenario are scenes of those same individuals without devices in their hand. It was interesting to watch how people reacted when they realized they had to have face-to-face communication with the person sitting next to them. Most of them ended up just discussing technological topics, like social media, while others felt stuck and awkward. It is sad that we live in a society where people struggle to find topics to discuss with strangers. It is very crucial that people start to acknowledge that face-to-face communication is changing because that will be the only way things will get better.
In conclusion, face-to-face communication is drastically changing due to the increase of technology. Many sources have found that it is very crucial for face-to-face communication to continue because that is the only way people share genuine communication with one another. In addition, people have to start recognizing that the society is shifting toward a decrease of face-to-face communication because that will be the only way of improving this issue. Once people are aware they will attempt to come up with solutions to fixing this issue. Overall, face-to-face communication is very crucial in an interpersonal relationship and it should never lose its importance.
I really enjoyed making this final blog post. It was very interesting to see how I’ve used all of my past knowledge from previous homework assignments and readings and incorporated it with newer research and more knowledge on a specific topic. Overall, this course has taught me a lot about the importance of face-to-face communication and how it is up to us as individuals to change the society. I am going to use all of my new knowledge from this course and attempt to teach people everything that I’ve learned this semester. It is very important to continue to talk about how technology is changing our society because that is going to be the only way we change our society for the better.
Mercola (2015, October 8). The Power of Face-to-Face Communication in a Digital World. Retrieved from https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/10/08/face-to-face- meetings.aspx
Sprecher, Wickes, and Wickes, E. (2009). Communication, instant messaging and other new media. In H. Reis & S. Sprecher (Eds.), Encyclopedia of human relationships. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Retrieved from https://muhlenberg.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/sagehumanr/communication_instant_messaging_and_other_new_media/0
Suler, J. (2010). Interpersonal guidelines for texting. International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 7(4), 358-361. doi:10.1002/aps.268
Turkle, S. (2015, September 26). Stop Googling. Let’s Talk. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/27/opinion/sunday/stop-googling-lets-talk.html