February 15th, 2007

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Email vs. in person

Earlier this week I made a friend angry. Realizing this, I sent her an apology via email.

We had a chance to discuss it today. I was given the option of hearing it via email, or in person.

I chose in person. I'm glad I did.

E-mail has some wonderful benefits. I'm not very quick with my thoughts. So writing email back and forth gives me the opportunity to coalesce the gooey thoughts in my brain into something solid. I think I wrote and re-wrote that apology 4 or 5 times.

But there's also some drawbacks. The wording that's clear in my head has a different context when read by someone else.

In person, there's an immediacy to conversation that can correct the different impressions. Body language. Facial expressions. The what the hell does that mean? questions. These can all work together to make communication easier.