Digital communications

Face-to-Face Vs Digital Communications: 6 Key Differences

Digital communications offer convenient and efficient ways to connect, especially when working remotely. Today, we’re more likely to email, chat, or hold a video call than talk in person. However, there are still times when it’s best to meet face-to-face.

Understanding the key differences between digital and IRL will help you choose the most appropriate and effective method of communication for each situation.

1. Speed and Convenience

The most significant difference is that digital communication is quick and convenient. Remote teams can be spread worldwide but still talk to each other like they’re in the same room. You can have a real-time conversation even if you’re continents apart.

If you work with a team, you should establish communication protocols to ensure regular interaction with all members.

2. Gestures and Non-Verbal Cues

What digital communications miss are all the non-verbal cues we use to communicate in person. Facial expression, posture, gestures, tone of voice, and the silence between words convey as much information as the actual words. When our communication is stripped of all this, it can be easy to misunderstand the whole meaning of what the other person is saying.

If you have a sensitive or nuanced issue to discuss, it’s better to talk about it in person or on a phone call.

3. Documenting the Discussion

Digital methods of communication are ideal when you want to document the discussion. You may want to have things on record for legal reasons or to maintain a clear and accurate record. This documentation is searchable in your email or messaging app.

On the other hand, face-to-face communication is more suitable when you want to discuss something off the record. A sensitive discussion might be better in person for privacy and security reasons.

4. Relationship Building

Real-life communication forges stronger relationships. You form closer and more lasting bonds with people you meet in person. This is why, even with the convenience of remote work, some companies encourage their teams to spend some time at the office or create opportunities for social interaction.

One reason for this is that IRL communications give us better feedback. You can see how the other person reacts immediately. There’s also more opportunity for small talk, which allows us to get to know each other personally.

5. Special Features for Better Communication

Digital communication offers a wealth of features you can use to make communicating more efficient. You can send attachments, create groups, forward messages, and auto-save drafts. Many text messaging apps provide read receipts, which indicate when the recipient has read the message.

Also Read: Short Video Guide: Craft Compelling Story in 60 Seconds

6. The Future of Digital Communications

No organization can do business today without making extensive use of digital communications. This will surely increase as more teams go remote and businesses outsource to virtual workers. The key is understanding the strengths and weaknesses of digital vs. real-life communication to use each best.

Want to learn more about how to communicate more effectively in your business? Head over here: Business – Orkra


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