Much like the world itself, the way we communicate is changing every single day. This is true now more than ever, as COVID-19 continues to spread far and wide, forcing municipalities, cities, states, and countries to make adjustments for safety’s sake. In this time of isolation, it is critical to stay connected and engaged.
Staying inside, while safe, can be isolating, especially for those of us who are social creatures. Fortunately, technology allows us to ease that sense of isolation, letting us connect in the most human way possible: face to face.
How Face-to-Face Communication Helps
While phone calls, texting, and messaging apps allow us to communicate instantly, there is a downside. Hearing a disembodied voice or seeing chat bubbles pop up on our screen can also remind us of the distance between us.
Humans Are Visual Creatures
As humans, we use so much more than just our voices to communicate. Everything about us tells a story. Think about seeing someone in person. You’re looking at their eyes, their eyebrows, their hands and arms, their body language, the shape of their mouth, whether they are smiling or frowning. Their body tells you things that their voice does not.
In business, this is especially critical. So much is communicated with expressions and gestures that just don’t come across in an email or text. While it is tempting to rely on this type of messaging for its speed and immediacy, there is no substitute for facetime.
Thankfully, there is no shortage of options for face-to-face connections. These days, we are lucky to have so many tools that allow us to connect with others visually.
Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Instagram all offer a video calling interface. Depending on the type of phone you have, you are probably already ready to make video calls. If you have an iPhone, you’ve got FaceTime, and Google Duo if you’re an Android user.
For those who are unfamiliar with these social media tools or who don’t have a smartphone, there are other virtual platforms like Skype, Zoom, BlueJeans, and WebEx. These conferencing platforms are easy to use and can be accessed from a mobile device or a desktop computer.
All of these applications allow for multiple users on a call, meaning you can meet with your team, see the whole family, get the gang together for a hang, or if you’re taking online classes, create an online study group.
Regardless of why you choose to use these platforms, having that familiar visual is helpful, both from a practical and an emotional standpoint. Face-to-face communication is proven to increase a sense of intimacy, empathy, and connectivity. It allows us to foster and grow healthy relationships, and perhaps most importantly, maintain a sense of normalcy when our routines are disrupted.
In conclusion, human connection is a simple way to maintain a sense of unity in the face of current events. Use these tools to look your family, friends, and loved ones in the eyes and remember that, even now, you are not alone.
Reach out today to learn more about how visual virtual communication can support you, both personally and professionally.