Put down your smart phone and let's get personal!

Why face-to-face communication is needed more than ever... by business communication specialist Miti Ampoma

A friend recently confided in me that she and her husband now email or text each other while at home together, rather than talk face to face. She said "When I come to think of it, we can go most days emailing each other while he's in the dining room and I'm next door in the lounge. You just get into the habit". She made no connection between her complaint that she felt 'disconnected' from her husband and the way they communicate.

A recent UK study found that "modern technology is making face-to-face human communication redundant. Almost half those sampled admitted that they used phone calls, text messages, tweets and emails to communicate with family members in the same house rather than going into another room to talk to them face -to-face."So clearly my friend is not alone!

The Innovative Communicator: Putting the soul back into business communication

We have a generation growing up brilliant with but addicted to smart phones. Many struggle to look a person in the eye to have socially interactive articulate conversations. Meaningful human relationships are lost when there is insufficient face-to-face interactive human dialogue, leading to misunderstandings, confusion and potential distrust.

Don't get me wrong, the smart phone is one of the great gifts of modern technology, but it'sworth balancing our use of it with meaningful face to face communication, so it supports human relationships, not hinders.

Face to face communication liberates the human spirit, spurs people on, motivates. No smart phone can ever really replace that emotional benefit.

Top tips for improving face-to face communication:

  • . Ring fence 2 hours in the week (they can be split up time or together) and allocate that to human face time - time that is dedicated to interacting face to face with another person be it friends, family or co-workers in whatever way you choose, that you'll enjoy.
  • . Increase the 2 hours by another hour or two over the weekend, so you have smart phone free time then. Just be with another human being or by yourself and have fun.
  • . If you're relaxing, try and really switch off by switching your smart phone to silent. That means switch off the bleeper, ringtone and vibration mode!
  • . Try relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga where you learn to be comfortable with silence.
  • . In the workplace or in personal relationships make a list of 5-6 people you need to get to know better and make a commitment to have a face to face conversation with them rather than sending just a text or email.
  • . At home, eat at the table with loved ones, with no smart phones. Focus your time on listening and contributing to family and friends time. Don't sneak off to look at your smart phone messages!
  • . Be consistent in your efforts and keep going. It's all about on-going practice. You'll feel great when a healthy balance of your smart phone use and face-to-face communication becomes habit. Your relationships will be better for it.

About the Author

Miti Ampoma is an award-winning business communication specialist in Britain. She passionately believes we can each help change the world through the power of words in business and life. Miti lives in London and loves dancing, meditating and helping others to become powerful communicators.

The Innovative Communicator: Putting the soul back into business communication. Miti's book can be found at: Amazon on http://goo.gl/3Kgkb
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