In our increasingly digital age, the ratio of face-to-face interactions and on-screen interactions is at an all-time low. The science of living has always favored the profound impact face-to-face interactions have on our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. In-person interaction might be hard to achieve now, especially for Gen Z.
However, we strongly believe that we should make a conscious effort to increase face-to-face communication in our lives. In this guide, let’s explore the science behind it and explore the benefits of face-to-face contact.
What Does Science Say About Face-to-face Interactions?
For starters, this kind of interaction stimulates the release of oxytocin. It’s a chemical in our brain often referred to as the “love hormone” or “bonding hormone.” It promotes social bonding, trust, and empathy, fostering deeper connections with others.
Many studies have also found in-person interactions linked to reduced stress levels. Engaging in face-to-face conversations with trusted individuals can lower cortisol, the stress hormone, to help combat stress-related health issues.
Then there is non-verbal communication. Have you ever felt that the energy when you talk to someone on Zoom and in person is different? Human communication relies heavily on nonverbal cues such as facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice. You simply can’t get the full package when you’re only interacting virtually.
The same goes for therapy in counseling. When you go for a New York City in-person therapy expert, your therapist can understand your conditions better compared to virtual sessions.
At the same time, being in someone’s physical presence allows you to process real-time feedback. Needless to say, it helps to understand the emotional state of the person and where they’re coming from. Long-distance couples often fight more simply because their messages come across differently than what they intend.
Face to face communication can lead to better understanding and fewer misinterpretations, strengthening relationships between not only couples but also among platonic friends.
Top 5 Benefits of Face to Face Communications in Your Life
As promised, here are the top 5 benefits face to face interaction in your life with examples.
You Build Better Relationships
Understanding is the cornerstone of any relationship. It has been true since the dawn of the human race. Thanks to the non-verbal cues, face to face interactions help you build better relationships compared to the virtual paradigm.
Imagine you’re meeting a friend you haven’t seen in years. As you talk face-to-face, you not only hear their words but also observe their facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice. These nonverbal cues convey emotions and sentiments that words alone may not capture.
If you notice a subtle sadness in their eyes, you can ask about their well-being. This kind of reciprocation leads to relationships that are well past the surface level.
We may have used a friend for the example but the sentiment is the same for family members, co-workers, and even strangers you meet in your daily lives. Needless to say, this level of emotional connection is challenging to achieve through text or video chat alone.
It’s Easier to Address Sensitive Issues
Imagine a situation where two close friends have been drifting apart due to a series of misunderstandings and unspoken grievances. No matter how much you want to deflect, we all have such relationships in our lives.
Attempting to resolve these issues through text messages or emails only leads to further miscommunication and frustration.
However, when they decide to meet in person, a remarkable transformation occurs. Sitting across from each other, they can see the pain and concern in each other’s eyes. As they speak, their body language reveals their vulnerability and desire for reconciliation. The power of eye contact and the immediate feedback from their words help bridge the emotional gap.
The best part is that it doesn’t always have to be a positive outcome. You may realize that the conflict you have is beyond resolution. Even if that’s the case, you get closure and have an easier time moving on with your life.
Better Mental State
Loneliness is a silent killer. You don’t realize its adverse implications until it’s too late. It takes a toll on your mental health that may lead to more serious issues like depression. Face-to-face interaction plays a vital role in enhancing someone’s overall mental state by providing a platform for emotional support, social connection, and improved well-being.
Imagine an individual who has been grappling with feelings of loneliness and isolation, exacerbated by the challenges of the digital age. They’ve been communicating primarily through texts and social media, feeling increasingly disconnected from real human interactions. Everything is going as planned, right?
But when a friend invites them to a social gathering where they can engage in face-to-face conversations, they experience the warmth of physical presence. Even hearing laughter and sharing genuine smiles can fill their heart with the warmth that has been missing for so long.
Improved Social Intelligence
Did you know that face-to-face interaction is a potent catalyst for enhancing social intelligence? In case you’re not aware, it’s the ability to navigate and understand social situations effectively.
If you’re an individual who has been primarily communicating through screens, chances are high that you often find yourself struggling with interpreting social cues and emotions accurately. When you finally decide to attend a corporate networking event or a casual party where face-to-face interactions are prevalent, you have a hard time maintaining eye contact and continuing conversations.
But you must push through the struggles and continue them. Through these interactions, you begin to recognize social patterns and cues that are often overlooked in the digital space. You can pick up on when someone is interested, uncomfortable, or engaged, enabling you to adjust your communication style accordingly.
This is more of a work benefit than a personal benefit. Imagine a meeting where participants can speak freely without the worry of electronic eavesdropping or data breaches. They can exchange documents and sensitive materials physically, minimizing the risk of digital leaks. In this controlled environment, they can gauge each other’s trustworthiness by observing body language and facial expressions.
But it doesn’t mean the benefits don’t spill over into your personal life as well. When you talk to a friend about a sensitive topic, a face-to-face interaction will almost always help you keep the conversation private. If you do it over the phone or via text, you never know who might be intercepting.