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Speak easy: face to face versus face to phone

11/15/2010
By:

Jessica Giannone

Staff Writer

When it comes to communication, are we enhanced by the simple technologies that make the world go ’round, or hindered? Think back to a day when the only option you had to get a hold of someone was to call them, better yet, before there was even a such thing as telephones. Those were the days when life depended upon face to face confrontations, or at least voice to voice. As technology advances, does communication advance along with it?

There are a lot of things the average person takes for granted: The ease of transportation through cars and airplanes, the luxury of entertainment through pressing a simple button, the range of knowledge one can gain through the simple click of a mouse. The truth is, in our generation, we would be lost without these things.

Why is it that the generations before us got along just fine without these things? Their lifestyles revolved around different values. Obviously they cannot be lost without something they’ve never even heard of. They didn’t sit around and complain about not being able to make a call from a million miles away because they were used to that kind of living. So as technology changes, generations adapt.
There are so many factors that can be examined regarding the reasons why this generation is so technologically motivated. We are constantly looking for ways to make our lives easier. But one can ask: Does that complicate things?

I think we can all agree that we are thankful for such privileges. Technology has saved many lives, not only in medicine, but with phone calls made in the middle of nowhere to report a fire, for example, that no one would know about otherwise. Some may say the world is safer now, others may argue that people will still be people, and the crime rate hasn’t been reduced just because of new advances. It’s fascinating that most of us could not live any other way, then to live with the advances in society today.

Although, in a time where men had no choice but to show up at your doorstep, and a time where there was no questioning what people said (texting leaves much room for interpretation), it’s safe to say a lot of girls would prefer the old fashion way of sincerity. People have accepted the fact that it’s OK to receive birthday wishes or “I love you’s” without any words spoken because society tells us that texting or emailing is the ideal means of communication. It’s fast, it’s simple, and it saves a lot of trouble. It also spares us of the burden of reaching out to someone in person. That sounds sort of funny, doesn’t it?

Now, I could go on and on about how technology affects the expectations and values of society, or the ways in which it creates a world of excuses for laziness or naiveness to hardship, but the truth is, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Communication is solely based on language, but judgment of sincerity in words stems from body language, facial expression, tone of voice etc. Texting especially leaves room for things to be said that wouldn’t normally be said, and gives more time for thought of response. So should we take texting and emailing at “face” value, or should we not bother to question even what we are not there to directly witness?

Is the simple way necessarily the better way? I’m not saying that texts or phone calls aren’t effective regarding communicating with someone, but the next time you receive a text, email, (or whatever) from someone, think about how different that very conversation would be if it were face to face.

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