As we head toward Thanksgiving, I am reminded of various people's approach to the holiday meal. Some love the sweet pies, cookies, and cakes, and others go mainly for the heavy stuff: turkey, ham, dressing, etc. Others have developed a healthy balance between the two extremes, craving the muscle building and vitamin rich solid dishes, while still leaving some room for dessert.
I have come to think of face-to-face vs. virtual interractions in the same way. I see face to face communication as more difficult to achieve, requiring more time and intentionality, and taking longer to digest. In a word, solid "meat." On the other hand our access to virtual communications makes them easier to achieve, and more "instant:" they are in and out of the system much faster. In a word, "sweets."
For healthy communication to exist, we need a solid diet of face-to-face communication as a foundation; the most basic building block of human interraction. But with the availability of social media, we must not forget to "treat" ourselves with facebook posts, tweets, and texts. All analogies break down at some point, so I will stop short of calling Google hangouts the "vegetables."
Happy Thanksgiving, and whether we meet with our friends and loved ones face to face or virtually this holiday, may our conversation be seasoned with grace.