We live in a world bombarded by technology. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Skype all make the world a much smaller place for us. Connections are made almost instantly and can be maintained virtually. Today, a person can have friends in China and California, but have never had to leave their home town in Texas. Social media, the internet, and cell phones have taken our huge planet and shrunk it down to fit in the palm of our hands.
For all the good things about technology, there are draw backs to the virtual world. These drawbacks can be observed in the millennial generation and the iGeneration. The screen gives us a sense of anonymity as well as a false sense of comfort. Even though we are interacting and having full, even meaningful conversations, the idea of virtual interaction gives us a warm blanket of security.
That warm blanket doesn’t exist in face to face interactions. However, the upcoming generations are disconnected when it comes to face to face interactions and etiquette. In the professional world, technology is very helpful. Technology can make deals happen faster and more efficiently. Face to face interaction, the real FaceTime, is where strong connections are made.
With technology, you swipe right and a connection is made. With real life interaction, there is a fine art to the nuances of etiquette. A firm handshake, a sincere smile that twinkles in your eyes, the way we walk, the timber of our voices, all of these things build up to a first impression. When you meet in person, there are no screens to hide behind. In person, you don’t get to pause and craft a witty response. You have to learn how to think on your feet and keep moving. Face to face interactions are where confidence is built along with lasting networks.
Face to face interactions are a dying art form and it is time for a renaissance. It is time to put the phones and computers away to brush up on face to face skills.
By Devin Hill