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In Response December 20, 2002  RSS feed


Technology vs. Face-to-Face Communication

By Robert F. Gazda

Technology vs. Face-to-Face Communication

By Robert F. Gazda

Technology has changed our world. E-mail, cell phones, instant messaging, voice mail, pagers and faxes have made worldwide communication easy, convenient and fast.

Yet, we have also lost something with the application of these technologies. We have less and less need to come face-to-face with individuals with whom we need or want to communicate. As a result, a subtle but important aspect of communication is lost—the non-verbal element. Body language, facial expressions and voice inflections are but a few of the intricacies which personalize our communication.

Taking the time to seek out and speak to someone is, in itself, a statement—a declaration that the person to whom you are speaking is important and that whatever you are discussing is of interest and value. It is during this personal dialogue that non-verbal means of expression add the emotion and attitude to complete and personalize the communication. Yes, we will continue to expand our use of new tools to link us to one another, but let us not lose that very special ability that personal dialogue gives us to "feel" what another person is saying.

This personal, one-on-one, face-to-face aspect of communication is a uniquely human experience and one to be experienced as often as possible. It is truly worth the effort.

Robert Gazda is Headmaster of The Gilbert School in Winsted.