The experts tell us that the most quality interpersonal interaction comes through face to face communication. A recent article published by Ashton College highlights that face-to-face communication uniquely allows for the advantages of personal touch, non-verbal cues, and effectiveness. According to the article, face-to-face interaction promotes cohesive work place environments, understanding in friendships, and impactful communication in all areas. While many have heard the obvious benefits about face-to-face relationships, many of us are turning to our phone and computer screens instead of to other humans.
A 2013 study suggests that Americans spend an average of 246 hours per month in front of their phones, TVs, and computer screens; which is over 7 hours per day! This is alot of time spent interacting with others through an electronic medium or not even interacting with people at all.
Default mode for just about any member of the younger generation as they are walking or waiting in line is to look down at their phone. I have noticed it myself– every time I am not quite sure what to do with my hands or where to direct my eyes, I habitual reach deep down into my pocket and check my iPhone. While I don’t really need to look at it, checking the screen is more convenient than acknowledging the presence of those around me.
While new technologies have greatly increased the flow of information, technology will never be able to replace the interpersonal immediacy that face-to-face interaction provides. Rather than turning to our screens as we eat our lunch’s what if we turned to the individual sitting near to us and discovered something new about them?