Face-to-Face Communicatioin vs Computer-Mediated Communication

Topics: Communication, Reciprocity, Social software Pages: 5 (1490 words) Published: August 30, 2012
Essay Question: Advances in communication technology will come at the expense of face-to-face communication. Do you agree?

Stepping into the 20th century, technology is ubiquitous in every aspect of society. The great influence of technology has led to the evolution of communication means. Under these circumstances, a wide range of new communication tools have arisen lately. Social communicating networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Skype are all not strange to the public. In the meantime, the most traditional way of interaction between individuals, face-to-face communication, is fading. However, it is believed that face-to-face communication is always the most efficient and effective way to exchange thoughts and ideas. This worrying scenario triggers a multitude of debates in society concerning whether there are mutual relationships between the two kinds of communication means. It is considered that the advances in communication will come at the expense of face-to-face communication. In a view to have better understandings of the relationships between face-to-face communication and computer-mediated communication, ways to communicate in business, education and, above all, social circle are investigated in-depth in this essay.

To commence with, face-to-face communication in the business sector plays a vital role. This kind of communication boosts the efficiency of the whole group of members. In most of the well-established enterprises, discussions are regarded as the most important process to develop and, undoubtedly, to make profit. Through discussions, it is conceived that many creative ideas could be produced by the process of “brainstorming” and creativity is always the most valuable element in business industries. Notwithstanding, this may be argued that discussion can be done online as well. Some applications such as Skype and MSN are the means that the aforementioned people mentioned. They claimed that discussions through optic fibers make no big difference from face-to-face discussions except the convenience it brings. This is not the case, though. Communication is not only about exchange of wordings, it also involves the exchange of gestures, facial expressions, body positions, body movements and tone of voice. All these subtle elements may seem negligible. But they always make significant differences when they are present simultaneously in face-to-face communication. Added to the above, face-to-face communication might lead to better team-work. McClain and Romaine (2007) believed that through consistent and daily face-to-face communication not only positive feelings are resulted; effective and collaborative teamwork could be promoted. Moreover, the increase in accuracy of interpretation by individuals is attributed to the combination of these factors. Members can usually perform better when they have better understandings of their group mates' ideas. In addition, individuals tend to be more active in face-to-face communication and more passive when communicating through advanced communication tools. In this way, more ideas will be given out in this active-discussing environment. As far as career opportunities are considered, computer-mediated communication at work may reduce the chance of employees of being promoted. Hilderbrand (2010) stated that “Executives indicated they want face time. It's difficult to promote people who are rarely seen”. It is not hard to see that face-to-face communication is more crucial than that of advanced communication tools in the business industry.

Apart from face-to-face communication in the business sector, it is also a kind of communication method that weighs much in the educational sector. Communication in the educational sectors usually refers to teaching and learning. Throughout the last decades, teaching and learning refer to interaction between teachers...
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