Limitations of electronic communication

Modern age makes us believe that technology can solve all the problems. It solves most of the problems except one and that is dealing with humans.

I read a quote somewhere sometime back and it was “If you can meet someone, don’t call. If you can call someone, don’t text or email”. Obviously it is little exaggerated but sends the point across well.

We can think of various reasons for it but first and foremost is that’s it’s very tough to be nasty when you are in front of someone. It’s very easy ( and would say cowardly) to sit behind keyboard and write nasty stuff.

Second as you can guess is body language. Body language plays almost 80% part in communication called non-verbal communication. If you take this part out communication is exactly  20% effective. On telephone you can introduce some body language so it’s definitely better than texting but does not beat in-person meetings.

I am not suggesting that all communication should be done in-person as that would overwhelm everyone but there should be a fine balance and you should err towards more human interaction than less.

I think it’s less of a problem for our generation but for the generation which is in school and colleges, they need to be taught emphatically about the limitations of electronic communication. If we do not do that, we will see many more jobs, relationships and marriages failing.

Electronic communication is a blessing for our times and I am in no way underestimating it’s importance. Mobile communication is another giant leap within that. It helps me stay productive no matter where I am. It’s just that it still does not catch all features of being human yet.