Friday, December 30, 2011

Meat Space

Meat Space: where flesh and blood people meet up. Social media is fine, if you are into that sort of thing. It’s no substitute for real face time.

In face to face communication much of the information exchange is nonverbal. The expression on someone’s face, the way they hold their hands, the look in their eye, their posture -there are many levels to physical communication.

When we talk on the phone the physical clues are gone, but there are still things like the tone of voice, pauses in the conversation, changes in pitch -verbal clues that deepen the meaning beyond the words being said.

Communication by text requires attention to detail to get meaning across with a minimum of misunderstandings. It’s a skill set not everyone has mastered.

I’ve two friends who no longer communicate though e-mail. When they meet in person, they communicate just fine and get along. When limited to text, they constantly misinterpret what the other tries to say. Feelings are hurt. Finally, one of them figured it out and no longer exchanges e-mails with the other person. They truly need the nonverbal clues to successfully communicate with each other.

One good thing about this time of year is that people make an effort to get together. For me, it’s a real treat, because there’s a lot of person to person face time. I come from a culture where people talk with their hands and I still do that. Being able to use body language is like having a vastly increased vocabulary.

Meat Space: the social media for real people.



  1. But if were not for the electronic age and blogging, I would have never met you. Maybe someday our paths will cross and we can sit down over a cup of coffee and have a real chat.

  2. Dizzy: indeed. It's great to have contact with people from around the world. Maybe we'll get that cup of coffee together someday.

  3. Yep, that's what Patcom is all about. Meat space, heh heh, I like it.