Modern life is marked by the loss of real life communication, as interactions are now taking place by means of virtual devices, such as smartphones and video chats. In the name of progress, we have favored unnatural modes of communication that have been conducive of loneliness and isolation; essentially the unintended effects of progress.

Indeed, with the new life conveniences brought on by technology, our social interactions are fewer. They have lost their organic feel, because we now choose to connect with each other through a glass screen. We are losing the art of face-to-face communication. Although social media has successfully brought people together by minimizing the constraints of geographical distance, it has also favored communication through an artificial medium instead of real life interactions.

Communicating with technology

We are constantly choosing to communicate via our phone or through our computer screen instead of speaking face-to-face, because it is easy, fast and more convenient. We do not have to interrupt ongoing activities to speak to someone, nor do we have to leave our home. The flip side of such modes of communication is that we never give it our full focus, and instead we are multitasking and splitting our attention in a million ways. Multitasking implies that at least one or more tasks are sacrificed to the others, and very often the communication task is what is under-performed.

When talking to someone via phone while doing something else at the same time, the person will most likely be brief and taciturn, missing out on the treasure trove of information that is contained in real life communication. Essentially, we have become factual communicators, only concerned with delivering a message rather than with its method of delivery. In doing so, we bypass all the conventions of a normal interaction, such as greetings and small talks, that are crucial components of bonding.

Another essential factor to create bonding is body language. A real world social exchange is supported by cues that normally occur during face-to-face interactions, and those cues are harvested from our interlocutor’s body language. Body language is an outward reflection of the condition of our emotions; in other words it tells the other person how we feel. Thus, it determines the outcome of the exchange, and it gives an indication whether another exchange will take place or not. Without body language, we have a mere exchange of facts, which is a direct consequence of the loss of real life communication.


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