Digital advice – talk in person

We all do it – no sentences, made‐up abbreviations, emoticons. It’s fast, easy, fun. And, it works.

As much efficiency as technology puts in our hands, and now on our wrists, remember that we’re all social beings who aren’t meant to solely interact on social media.

Ken Burns, a famous director and producer of documentary films, said in a recent interview that we are all starved for meaning. (He helps counter this by explaining the past through his work.) Do any of us feel a little starved for a few more chances to talk in person or to talk at all? This is an exciting and forward‐moving digital age, but let’s be sure we keep or add some meaning to our communication. 

Face‐to‐face interaction has some real benefits: 

Know people better: It’s well‐known that non‐verbal communication accounts for 90% of communication. So when we can to talk to someone in person, it can be enlightening. Watching eye movement, observing speech, seeing if fidgeting happens when a certain topic is mentioned – all give clues about a person. This insight cannot be gathered digitally. 

Know people faster: You can gather quite a bit of information about people from postings and texts. However, trying to get to know someone online can take a tremendous amount of time. Professionals can often determine after a short face‐to‐face meeting if a person is a potential recruit or client. 

Build stronger relationships: Solid relationships are built on trust. It’s nearly impossible to build trust without having met in person. For example, would you take a physician’s advice if he or she never saw you? In a professional setting, talking face‐to face can create comfort and reassurance that your skills and/or your firm or company can successfully provide the service or product you are offering.

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