Chapter 7

Face It: Nothing Beats the Chemistry of In-Person Communication

As the world goes digital and relationships are increasingly available with the click of a mouse, the opportunities for face-to-face interaction seem to be waning. But that very reason is what makes the value of in-person communication even greater.

In a society that increasingly exists on the Internet, the impact and importance of in-person communication has given way to keyboards, wireless routers, computer screens, and pixels. Most young people don’t think of personal contact first as a way to build relationships. They would be more likely to tweet or “friend.” Yet face-to-face, in-person communication is the richest, most complete form of interaction two people can have. It’s better than a phone conversation, better than an e-mail exchange, and better than a text message, a tweet, a LinkedIn in-message, or Facebook friend request.

We’ve all had the experience of communicating with someone via e-mail, text, or phone, sometimes even over an extended period of time, where we create a visual picture of the person and their personality. Sometimes we even have a picture of them. We might think we really know them. Then we meet in person, and WOW—we get a whole new perspective when we’re finally in their physical presence.

Call it chemistry. Call it an energy field or a vibe. But whatever you call it, you surely know what it is. And you no doubt experience it in your everyday life. It’s what motivates you to ...

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