Research suggests we undervalue the bonding and enjoyment we get from hearing someone's voice.
We've all had the urge to reach out to someone -- perhaps someone we haven't communicated with in awhile and wondered whether texting, emailing, or calling would be best. A study reported on in the Greater Good journal suggests that there are reasons to pick up the phone and say hello.
In the study, participants predicted how awkward or enjovable it would be to have a conversation with a friend they hadn't been in touch with for at least two years, and how close they'd feel if they connected by phone versus email or text. They also reported which medium they'd prefer to use. The results showed that, although most people anticipated talking by phone would be more uncomfortable for them, those who spoke on the phone were happier with the exchange and felt closer to the other person.
"We think it's going to be awkward to talk to somebody, but that turns out not to be the case," says lead author Amit Kumar. "Instead people form significantly stronger bonds when they re talking on the phone than when communicating over email or text."
Kumar continued, "There are linguistic cues that come through someone's voice that suggest a feeling and thinking mind. And since connecting with somebody means getting a little closer to their mind, voice-based communication makes that easier or more likely.'
When is the last time you reached out to a person you hadn't connected with in a while, and what medium did you use? To join the conversation, click on "comments" above.
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