Norm Friesen, Professor of Educational Technology at Boise State University reports on his research into the differences in how we experience web-based versus face-to-face (F2F) meetings. The main finding are
- Lack of eye contact
- Looking askance
- Feeling watched
- Squelching / talking over others
Each of these factors results from limitations imposed by communications technologies. We manage to work with or around them but they can contribute to a sense of web-based meetings being somehow not-quite-right or not as comfortable as F2F interactions.
Friesen sees no way current technologies can fully remediate virtual meetings’ “lack the ‘mutual enfolding’ of the senses that, as Merleau-Ponty knew, comes with meeting in the flesh.”