“Face-to-face interaction is fundamental to good communication.” Is this statement true?Yes, the statement is true. Face-to-face can be defined as within each other’s sight or presence. As for communication, it has two parts the verbal one and the non-verbal. Verbal means the content or the tone that we’re speaking. The non-verbal means the body language – gesture, expression, etc. Both of them were important in a conversation. A conversation without body language will make other feel like talking to a robot. Examples of face-to-face communication are chatting, interview, greetings, meetings, etc.
Can a human survive without having face-to-face communication? In this era of digital prosperity, face-to-face communication seems to be gradually fading to an extent where some people spend their day without interacting with people. However, the origin of humanity is about community. According to psychologist Sherry Turkle, she said that the communities now are ‘sacrificing our communication for mere connection'(Michalk, 2013). Research about the percentage of social media use on a daily basis from Pew Research Center shows that 51% of American user is using Facebook several times a day. 49% for Snapchat, 38% for Instagram, 26% for Twitter, and 29% for YouTube (Smith & Anderson, 2018). As for the percentage of the user that can give up on social media, 40% says they can’t give up on social media (Smith ; Anderson, 2018). According to McLuhan, he points out that the ‘difference between more technologies advanced society versus lesser advanced could influence the perceptions of one society to another'(Henry, 2014). So basically, our real-life community have shifted more towards the online community. A human might survive with lesser face-to-face communication but can’t 100% without it because it is undeniable about the revolutionized communication, however, it is important to ‘balance this online communication with face-to-face communication'(Ashton College, 2013).
However, why is face-to-face communication important? Communication is the foundation of all human relationship (Hope Speak, 2014 ). Face-to-face communication provides a deeper connection to people; it bonds us to the person we communicate. For example, a graphic designer needs to have communication as part of their skills because without proper communication between colleague, client, agencies it will cause miscommunication. Face-to-face communication is the most suitable way for a graphic designer to convey their message and idea to their client. Why? Because when a graphic designer discusses their assignment to their client through email, it is very difficult for them to explain it in words to the client. Some client doesn’t understand the technical term that graphic designer use, so it will be easier if the graphic designer explains in person. Face-to-face communication is important is because you get to pick up a hidden message through their body language, the tone that they’re using, and facial expression. According to Albert Mehrabian’s book, Silent Messages, an equation was being introduced: ‘Total feeling= 7% verbal feeling + 38% vocal feeling + 55% facial feelings'(Vanderkam, 2015). The impact of receiving the whole message most of it is through our facial expression.
In addition, can human workforce be replaced by Artificial Intelligence, robots or computer system? Gradually, technology has become an integral part of the way that people communicate with one another and has increasingly replacing face-to-face communication. Due to the rapid development of technology, people fear that the human workforce will be taken over by Artificial Intelligence or robots. However, according to Joe Mckendrick, ‘AI and robots will only take over boring tasks, while humans spend more time with higher level task'(Mckendrick, 2018). Boring tasks such as announcer, public transport (driverless MRT line ), car, printing, security and etc. Everything in the tasks is something that can always be repeated. A higher task such as inventing, designing, create solutions, etc. Why can’t robots take over higher level task is because these kinds of jobs involve thinking, experiences, higher level knowledge. In real life, every conversation, gestures, expressions, and experiences that we have gone through, it can’t simply happen with any robot or digital connection. Robots don’t have emotions so some job they can’t achieve it. So, humans have already adopted the wrong concept that robots mean automatically complete your work. What human need now is to think about how to ‘redesign jobs and business processes,’ instead of thinking about what to do next when work is replaced by robots (Mckendrick, 2018). When robots replace some of the work, it does not mean in the future there is no new job for us at all. For example, let’s look at the printing of the newspaper. Previously, the newspaper was printed on paper by hand but now is we human take the paper to the machine to let it print. From black ink to color ink and now we also have a digital newspaper. This shows that it does not mean that people have lost their job, but their work has shifted to another direction or other ways.
In conclusion, face-to-face interaction is fundamental to good communication. Even though social network has made our life easy, but we need to remember that is just a tool to assist us to communicate with others. Balancing between online communication and real life communication makes life more easier.
ReferencesAshton College. (2013) ‘The Importance of Face-to-face Communication.’ Ashton. November 21. Available at: https://www.ashtoncollege.ca/the-importance-of-face-to-face-communication/
Henry, J.H. (2014) ‘The Influence of Social Media Technology on Generation Y’s Ability to Communicate Face to Face in Their Academic Careers.’ ProQuest. December 2014. Available at: https://search.proquest.com/openview/2b7be541b54591a66cb41d01a8fb3bee/1?pq-origsite=gscholar;cbl=18750;diss=y
HopeSpeak. (2014) ‘Why is communication important in human life?’ December 16. Available at: https://www.hopespeak.com/blog/why-is-communication-important-to-human-life-2/
Mckendrick, J. (2018) ‘Artificial Intelligence Will Replace Tasks, Not Jobs.’ Forbes. August 14. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/joemckendrick/2018/08/14/artificial-intelligence-will-replace-tasks-not-jobs/#335c94a1a7fa
Michalk, A. (2013) ‘The Difference Between Online & Real Life Community?’ quiip. June 27. Available at: http://quiip.com.au/is-there-a-definitive-difference-between-online-and-real-life-community/
Smith, A. and Anderson, M. (2018) ‘Social Media Use in 2018.’ Pew Research Center. March 1. Available at: http://www.pewinternet.org/2018/03/01/social-media-use-in-2018/
Vanderkam, L. (2015) ‘The Science When you Need in Person Communication.’ Fast Company. September 30. Available at: https://www.fastcompany.com/3051518/the-science-of-when-you-need-in-person-communication