Paarth Madan

A medium to iterate on my own thoughts.

Face to Face

Posted at — Dec 13, 2021

Our generation is faced with an interesting conundrum; the conundrum of convenient communication.

Most of us are well-versed in various forms of communication: text, email, call, facetime, snapchat, face-to-face.

Each of these are apt for different conversations. In fact, I’d argue you can participate in virtually any conversation using any of the aforementioned mediums. That doesn’t mean its right, though.

I believe we’ve evolved to communicate face-to-face. There’s signals, body language and cues that are simply not picked up in other mediums. Tone is incredibly hard to discern. A sincere smile, or a face ridden with guilt are undetected. A teary eye, a face of shock, or a gesture to hug are all missing in the other forms of communication.

When does the convenience of a particular communication form outweigh the realness of a face-to-face conversation? I believe we need to be intentional about this trade-off.

There are times when the gravity of a conversation strictly warrants a face-to-face conversation but, either through cowardice or lack of calibration, we prefer the convenient routes.

I can confess my love in a snapchat.
I can break up with someone over text.
I can deliver the news of a death over a facetime.
I can share condolences over email.

While I can’t claim that there are objective ways to approach anything, I decided I need to be more intentional with my own decisions.

What are the implications of the communication style on the conversation?
What are the implications on the other person?

I believe I have a bias towards choosing a convenient communication form—I remind myself that this isn’t always the best decision.

I find I communicate best in person. I’m introverted, so silence is a big portion of my communication.

For instance, disappointing news may be followed by my silence, but my facial reaction implies I both acknowledge and detest the news. Over text, this would simply translate to leaving the message on seen. These represent two entirely different responses, but I believe highlight my motivation for this reflection.

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