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  • Viva Sarah Press

What's your pick? Face-to-Face vs. Digital communication

Call me old school, but I always prefer face-to-face conversation.

Having worked in the world of communications for over two decades, I adapt and use digital technologies as they come along – especially email, texting and social media. Yet, I’m still a bigger fan of face-to-face communication.

I work from home as a freelancer and I rely heavily on digital tools. I spend hours online -- networking, conversing and reading.

There are pros and cons for digital communication as well as face-to-face interaction. But because I work from home, face-to-face communication actually requires me to be pro-active.

Obviously, it’s easier to text someone. Or send an email.

But in the digital world, non-verbal cues and real facial expressions (and reactions to what is being said) are impossible to recognize. And, unfortunately, there are far more misunderstandings. Especially when I’m speaking Hebrew.

And that’s before emojis are added to the mix. Actually, a new Canadian study shows how these little images can change the meaning of a message depending on who is reading the text.

I’ve definitely irked some people with the wrong emoji. And I’ve riled at these cutesy images when I took them the wrong way.

Even with all the digital efficiency, if I’m not conducting a phone interview for an article on a deadline – I will always suggest and prefer a face-to-face coffee date or meeting. Yes, even with Tel Aviv’s parking problems, I’m always happy to drive somewhere to meet someone in person.

(A side benefit, of course, is seeing the city while trying out the different coffee shops.)

I know I’m not the only one to promote face-to-face meetings. Just look at Tel Aviv’s cafes – at any hour of the day – they are always being used for business meetings.

I, too, take my coffee dates very seriously. I know if I’m investing the time to meet someone – they are, too.

And, yes, I know it takes time to drive to the coffee shop or to find parking. But I feel the time lost on a misunderstanding – and the emotional roller-coaster that goes along with it – is usually far greater than the time it takes to get to a face-to-face meeting.

Social media can definitely enhance connections. But what can be gained from a face-to-face interaction is invaluable and usually much more enjoyable.

What do you prefer: digital or face-to-face communication?

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