Face to Face Communication Versus Computer Mediated Communication

Topics: Communication, Nonverbal communication, Computer-mediated communication Pages: 5 (1767 words) Published: March 30, 2013
Face to Face Communication versus Computer Mediated Communication In the 21st century we are now living in, the rapid advancement of technology has completely changed our lives, especially the tools we use to communicate. In the olden days where snail mail is one of the popular ways in communicating, people would rather choose interact face to face because it is the only way that could physically maintain their relationship as they can see the facial expressions and body gestures shown by the person who conveys the message to them. Even now, some people still prefer face to face interaction over computer mediated communication because of the lack of non verbal cues in computer mediated communication. However, with the invention of various computer mediated tools, people have eventually replaced it with face to face communication without them realizing because apparently the inventions of Facebook, Twitter, Skype and many more serve a more convenient platform for people to communicate. Although face to face communication is a better way to convey messages and feelings to each other, computer mediated communication makes our lives much easier. The first difference that distinguishes between computer mediated communication and face to face communication is the effectiveness. Nowadays, most of us are very much depending on various social networking sites, for example the most common one- Facebook and Skype to enable us to communicate with people living on the other side of the world and even those who live close by. Using computer mediated communication for the purposes of interpersonal communication is a common tool for those who live a long distance away from one another, however multiple studies also show that computer mediated communication is used to communicate with those who live close by or even among family members who live in the same household (Stafford, Kine. & Dimmick, 1999, Wellman 2008). Besides that, computer mediated communication is effective in divergent tasks such as idea generation. Computer mediated communication tools, also known as the group support system (GSS), provide a structured environment that allows participants in a collaborative team to interact simultaneously and anonymously to generate ideas, make decisions and solve problems (Jessup, Canolly & Tansik 1990). The reason why computer mediated communication is good in idea generation but not in decision making is that the process of interacting through computer mediated communication might hinder the relationship between the sender and receiver due to the lack of non-verbal feedback and this will probably delay in decision making. The lack of non-verbal cues makes accurate perception of emotions difficult and receivers may attribute more neutral or negative meanings to messages than senders instead. Computer mediated communication lack of cues and that affect the content of the messages cannot be transmitted effectively and that channel is unnatural and less useful and efficient than face to face communication (Draft & Lengel, 1986; Kock, 2004; Kock, et.al 2008). By missing the cues, one will not be able to fully understand what the other party is trying to communicate. Apart from that, face to face communication is inconvenient for some people who stay far or overseas to interact face to face with the party they wish to see. They will need to travel a long distance to reach the other party who they want to convey the message to. However, it is effective in convergent tasks such as decision making. Face to face groups are better at decision making than computer mediated communication groups because they can more easily reach a consensus at the same time using immediate verbal and non-verbal feedback (Archee, 1993). Face to face discussion is faster and the feedback facilitated contain both visual and audio cues compared to the slow computer mediated groups due to the lack of non-verbal feedback and the occurring of uncertainty at...

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