“Face-to-face” versus “The illusion of connectivity”


“All right.  Put your hands up and step away from the Blackberry, computer screen, iPad, or other electronic or technological device that’s keeping you fixated.”  It’s time to connect to others the old-fashioned way — face-to-face.

Some years ago, a friend and I were discussing how, for all its value, technology was leaving out one very important aspect; the personal touch.  There was “communication” but not “connection.”  We came to call this the “illusion of connectivity.”

Many people agreed with us that while “tech-touch” is vital it is also impersonal.  They also said it was just too convenient to break free from, and sometimes felt like a compelling, impossible-to-escape “black hole” in charge of their lives.  Some even admitted being slaves to technology, and one person jokingly asked where he might find a 12-step group for tech-addicts.

While it is certainly true that in-person meetings and direct connections take more time, travel, and planning, here are some reasons why it’s worthwhile making the effort to have face-to-face engagement:

  • You’re more likely to remember a face and the warm personal greeting than an email address or wordy message?  There’ll be more of a satisfying sense of having had significant interaction which will feed into a greater sense of accomplishment.
  • There’s more at stake when face-to-face, so you are more likely to be assertive, proactive, and genuine.  It’s too easy to “hide” behind the anonymity of email or text messages, which is habit worth breaking.
  • Your personal productivity might increase.  Rather than all that time spent keyboarding, making attachments, and sending salvos of messages back and forth, you can be engaged in more immediate matters.
  • You’ll feel more “in relationship” when conversing with someone in person.  Feelings will be more involved.  There will be the spark of excitement that comes from exchanging fresh ideas and expressing them while sitting across from one another.
  • You’ll be freed from the “force field” and “black hole” effect that seems to come with increased time spent with electronic technologies.  That freedom may be liberating and exhilarating in ways you may not realize you missed.

While all the technological ways to communicate are vital to life and business today, consider spending more time engaging directly with friends, clients, and business associates to enjoy the true connection that comes with a smile, a handshake, and face-to-face conversation.

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