Face Time Beats E-Mail Any Day


Step Away from the Computer and Start Talking in Person for a Change

Any interpersonal communication expert will tell you that valuable face-to-face interaction has fallen by the wayside thanks to e-mail. Sure, a finely crafted e-mail message can be a work of art, but how much power does it really lend?

The answer, according to researchers at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign and George Mason University, is not much. In fact, they say, e-mail can work against you! Their study put more than 200 students in groups to perform teamwork tasks and found that those working face-to-face showed greater cooperation than those communicating through instant messaging or video-conferencing, who were more likely to lie.

When interacting face-to-face, "you're getting more information from the people around you," says coauthor Gregory Northcraft, which "is allowing you to trust them more."

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