Online or Face-to-Face Communication?

BY: Neighbors’ Consejo|

Our relationships as a society changed a few years ago with the insertion of technology and social networks into our lives. There are some people who agree with these new forms of relating and others who consider that they have distanced us more from each other. Whatever position one agrees with, these new forms of communication can affect our mental health either positively or negatively.

According to University of People [1] , there are five types of communication: Verbal, nonverbal, written, visual and listening. In addition to these, in the information age, online communication has been added. This is the “type of communication among people or businesses that takes place with the help of the internet. This can be sending a message, sharing information, doing a virtual conversation, transferring money, connecting someone, and many others through digital tools or mediums [2].”

Online communication can be affective if we develop some skills, such as [3]:

  1. Follow “netiquette”, this is the framework of accepted behaviors when communicating online. We must remember, for example, that on the other side of the screen there is a person receiving the information. Therefore, this must be respectful, with clear language and expressions that are not offensive. Everything is recorded on the network.  
  2. Use clear and concise language: To write online, we must be clear about who we are writing to. Who is our audience? For this, we must consider the tone of voice in video calls or online calls; break up your text, we have to use subheadings, bullet points and list, and keep your content as accessible as possible.
  3. Convey the right tone: Talking to a friend is different from talking to our boss or to a certain audience on our social networks. Therefore, it is necessary to find the right words and the right tone.
  4. Provide thorough responses: Having clarity in the answers that we will give to the other person behind the screen is essential, because lacking physical contact; we must develop the ability to communicate properly.
  5. Build a favorable online persona: Education must be the flag in online communication.

On the other hand, if we discuss between what is better, online communication or face-to-face, the portal Psychminds [4]  asks why online communication may be less satisfying than face-to-face. Socializing online takes time away from offline interactions; online interactions may promote passive engagement; conversational topics may be of a more shallow nature; interactions may be fragmented and responses delayed; nonverbal cues are less easy to distinguish; interactions in real life may be adversely affected by smartphone presence, and people may not represent themselves truthfully online.

No matter what type of communication you choose, what you must do is communicate respectfully and appropriately, this builds us as a society and generates healthy interpersonal relationships that improve our emotional well-being. So, if you want to talk with someone, we invite you to call, write or visit Neighbors’ Consejo, our professionals are standing by to support you.






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