Face-to-face communication is even more valuable in the impersonal world of cyber-chat
Two student flat sharers in directly adjoining rooms had a lengthy heated argument – on Facebook.
They could probably have heard each other through the wall as they bashed out their anger on their keyboards.
It’s as absurd as the business people who email the colleague who they can see in his glass walled office next door.
I’m not the first to think and say that while social media and email have value roles, they are used far too often inappropriately.
The dominant role of electronic media, especially Facebook, Skype, You Tube and computer games, have not only changed the way we communicate but also changed the way we relate to one another.
Why are Generation X so reluctant to chat face to face? Often, it is because of discomfort. Years locked away in their rooms in a cyber world have left many of them lacking the social communication skills and confidence to converse, especially with other generations.
But does this mean that we are heading for world without meetings and conversations? Is the end of face-to face discussion and live person to person communication?
Far from it; conference speeches, sports events, concerts, car launches and award ceremonies are all so much better live, in 3D giving the chance to see the whole view rather than on a screen, a flat image that is under the control of the camera crew.
These live events, whether for entertainament or business, are thriving.
Meanwhile, all around Britain this week, there are events where face to face meetings are the reason why so many people have made an effort to be there.
At an Exhibition such as The National Franchise Exhibition at the NEC on Friday 24 and Saturday 25 February, many of the visitors will be attending because they want to meet as many people in person in one day.
Paul Georghiou, a London catering consultant summed up why meeting people in person is important. Interviewed at a previous major franchising exhibition, he said: “Face to face meetings at an event like this are vital for both parties to test and build relationships, to gain a sense of the people. You can judge so much more about a person by meeting them at an exhibition to compare several potential business partners side-by-side under one roof.”
So attending an event can be highly cost-effective as well!
And, finally, they say you can tell much about a person from their handshake: you can only do that if you meet them face to face.
So despite the spread of cyber communications, the unique benefits of the face to face experience are still strong and will continue.