I will take the TOEFL IBT in June and i need to improve my indipendent writing. Here is one of my essays.
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Face to face communication is better than other types of communication such as letters , email or telephone calls. Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.
In our modern time phone calls, e-mails and communication methods of that kind had become very popular. People prefer them because they are fast and easy way of distant communication. But are they better, or it is the face-to-face conversation? My opinion is that the face-to-face communication is much better. I will support my theory in the following paragraphs.
Firstly, I want to say that it is proven that when speaking face-to-face with someone, only seven percent of the meaning is actually in the words we say. The other ninety three percent are nonverbal. They are in body language and tone of voice. Huge amount of meaning is lost by using phone calls. With e-mails and other similar methods it is even worse – we can’t hear the voice tone. There are some unintentional things people do when speaking face-to-face, that can give information about their mood and emotions. That is all lost when using electronic communication.
Secondly, due the above mentioned information lost, some of the meaning we put in the words we write in an e-mail can be misunderstood. Here is an example. Most of people’s humor is sarcasm, and sarcasm is just mismatching the words with the tone. With electronic communication methods where writing is used, that kind of humor is hard to deliver. In most of the cases it can easily be understood improperly. Moreover, with absence of sense of the other person’s mood, every line people read gets filtered through their own mood instead. That sometimes can lead to awkward situations.
Last but not least, I’d like to mention that electronic communication has its privileges. For example, when people are away from each other and it’s not possible to have a face-to-face conversation. Furthermore, with the so called emoticons, a person could now get an idea of the other person’s mood, even in e-mail.
It can be concluded that, face-to-face communication is better. Electronic communications as phone calls and e-mails can be useful, but they can’t compare to the face-to-face conversation.
TOEFL listening lectures: A university lecture by a Drama professor