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What are some advantages and disadvantages of communicating via computer?

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shadowmikz | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 6, 2013 at 8:59 PM via web

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What are some advantages and disadvantages of communicating via computer?

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 6, 2013 at 11:36 PM (Answer #1)

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"Communicating via computer" can mean many things, and the advantages/disadvantages are different for each.

In general, communication via computer provides people who are not able to be with each other the opportunity to stay in touch through the exchange of written words, live written conversation, live visual conversation, and many other options. For people who are separated from loved ones and cannot afford or are unable to travel, computer communication is a wonderful and useful tool in both personal and business settings. It is not, however, an equal substitute for face-to-face conversation in all circumstances. 

When on-line communication is used instead of "real" communication, the speaker is not developing the social skills which are so necessary in the workplace as well as in successful relationships. Communication on line does not have to be based in truth and there is no certain way to know that, at least without doing some research; many people have been duped--or worse--by this kind of deceptive communication. 

The most effective form of personal communication is two-way communication, in which both parties are able to express themselves and get feedback from the other party in as many ways as possible, including tone of voice, inflection, body language, among other things. Any computer communication which can do that is much more effective, and the same is true in face-to-face communication. 

In the broadest terms, unless there are extenuating circumstances which make in-person communication impossible, communicating only over the computer is not ideal; however, it is a useful tool for businesses and individuals who cannot meet in person. 

I have included a link, below, which claims that "in a few years, men will be able to communicate more effectively through a machine than face to face." That may be true, but it seems to me it will not be a better world. 


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