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"Coward"


… was probably on your mind, when you received rejection over your phone, a few minutes after you had seen this person on the street. We have to admit that everything is easier through our phone… 

In this instance we don't comprehend the co-speaker as a being with unique personality traits, wishes, goals and needs, but as an object that is easier to ignore, leave in the lurch, offend or even hurt his/her feelings. In this way we depersonalize a person on the other side of the phone. 

Besides that, we can save a lot of time when discussing over the phone and simply keep our attention on a particular content. A common questions like »Are your kids doing fine?« or similar private debates will be much less likely to start over the phone than in a face to face conversation. 

Negotiation is also more objective in phone conversations, because it relates only to the object of negotiation and not to the personality traits of people involved. 

What are the benefits of a face to face conversation? It will be much easier to express affection for our co-speaker and evaluate her/his personality. We will also get a feel for quicker understanding of the presented idea, which will increase believing in ourselves. Speech synchronization will be bigger, which means that the number of pauses and interruptions will be smaller.


Would you like to show your dominance? This will also be easier in a face to face conversation. And you will also more successfully manipulate someone… 

What about telecommunication in a group? Rather not. It is much more difficult to establish a group hierarchy. You may also have problems in creating roles … »Who is the leader here?«

It is naive to think that video conferences and similar skype interviews will stop being used any time soon… But I just wanted to confront you with some facts and useful information. Perhaps the nonverbal cues of our body and face are not so irreplaceable. We just need to learn how to use and understand those verbal and other technological substitutes for the numerous gestures. This also includes emojis in messages that some of you are so unwilling to use. But hey, this is a way of coping with today's technology! Otherwise, similar complications occur: 

»Why are you grumpy?« … »If I don't write emojis, it doesn't mean that I'm grumpy«.


Literature (Literatura): Williams, E. (1977). Experimental comparison of face-to-face and mediated communication: A review. Psychological Bulletin, 5(84), 963 – 976.

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