For a Better Connection, Talk, Don’t Type

While social distancing, what is the best way to stay connected to the people we love? Thanks to modern technology, there are many options. Zoom, email, text, FaceTime, and phone calls are among the many ways to stay in touch.

However, not all communication media strengthen connections equally. According to a new study, voice-based interactions (phone calls and video chats) beat text-based interactions (emails and texts) hands down. Given the clear advantage of picking up the phone, why do we all-too-often opt to send emails and texts instead?

Anxiety about having an awkward conversation turns out to be the main reason we choose typing over talking. However, according to the study, these fears are largely unwarranted. Before reconnecting with a loved one, participants anticipated discomfort and awkwardness, but after making an actual phone call, they were pleasantly surprised to find this wasn’t the case. Moreover, they felt more meaningfully connected after a phone interaction than participants who interacted with a loved one via email.

It is worth noting that seeing a person on a video call wasn’t a better bonding experience than a good old fashioned phone call. So if the thought of being on camera on Zoom or Facetime fills you with dread, know that a landline will do the trick.

Bottom Line: Emails and texts are great for basic communication but if you really want to connect with a loved one this holiday season, put them on speed dial.

I wish you all the best,

Dr. Samantha Boardman