Before the inception of the telephone, communication was achieved face to face or via the written word. Fast forward to the present day and not much has changed, except perhaps for the gadgets we now use to facilitate this.
Not only has the mobile phone replaced tin cans connected with string, it has left our previously trailblazing landlines well and truly indoors. Isn’t it funny how a device primarily invented for relaying the voice has evolved into a device more commonly used for delivering the ‘written’ word?
Spread the word
Whether this is via text, email or by posting on social networking sites, the smartphone is our gateway to multi-layered communication. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. Except for when we’re on holiday and the office expects us to respond to emails…
Word of mouth
Do you have a preference for voice-only or no talk, just text? Or do you love a bit of FaceTime on your iPhone? With the introduction of Apple’s FaceTime, those who perform best on the end of the phone, but seize up in person, now have the added discomfort of video calling to contend with.
Narcissist or introvert?
The narcissists amongst us relish this airtime, smug in the knowledge that our face and voice are penetrating someone else’s world. Whoever you’re FaceTiming may be in a coffee shop, bar or taking the bus home, but your audience is likely to be more than just one person.
Let’s face it, ‘showing off’ to an audience via FaceTime is a kin to your own TV show. Whether your video call’s content is more Loose Women than The Andrew Marr Show, is up to you.
For the introverts amongst us, FaceTime induces anxiety, self consciousness and ties our tongues in knots. The ability to articulate is stripped from us like metaphorical clothing, leaving us vulnerable and naked. The mere thought of effectively being on speakerphone with accompanying visuals is enough to end the call before it’s even started. Enough said.
Chatting on the phone, as opposed to in person, has enabled us to relax somewhat. Physically yes, that goes without saying, but also socially. For instance, there are certain activities you wouldn’t carry out or states of undress that you wouldn’t be comfortable with, if you were having the same conversation in person. Well, for most people anyway.
How many people think nothing of having a bath, stuffing their face or even using the toilet whilst speaking on their mobile phone? Would those people behave in the same way if they were having the same conversation face to face? There will always be an exception to the rule, but in most cases social etiquette dictates that many wouldn’t.
With FaceTime it’s good to remember that you are on show even though you are talking on the phone. And where we might only be conscious of our tone of voice or choice of words on a call, we should be aware of what our face might be giving away on FaceTime. Those micro-expressions we’re not even conscious of making can say a whole lot more than just words. You have been warned.