Re: e-mail / social skills

Subject: Re: e-mail / social skills
From: Karen Kay <karenk -at- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 23 Sep 1995 18:38:47 -0700

Richard G Harris said:
> But I'm still concerned about how it affects the cocktail party type of
> face-to-face social skills. My last boss depended on these skills at
> company gatherings to get many things accomplished.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'cocktail party skills'. I certainly
have a lot more things to talk about because I'm on the Net. I've
never had any problem making conversation, but I feel like I'm more
familiar with a wider variety of topics than I would be otherwise.

> Also, since much face-to-face communicating depends on the nonverbal body
> language, can smileys really replace it?

Of course not. But no one is saying that f2f and the Net are the same
thing. The *skills* are similar: listening, and communicating clearly.

> I can understand a desire to hide some of that by
> using e-mail, but is it a copout?

I don't understand this comment either. I don't use e-mail because I
have a desire to hide anything. I use e-mail because it's cheap,
convenient, more-or-less instantaneous, and provides a written record.

I think that e-mail is good for people who are already good f2f
communicators. For people who are NOT good communicators, for whatever
reason, e-mail contacts can be problematic.

karenk -at- netcom -dot- com

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