Monday, February 9, 2009

Social Interaction: Cyberspace vs. Face-to-face


Primer: this is a paper that I made for one of my courses this term. I made this one today. I just liked it that's why I wanted to share it. :)

I. Are there important differences between social interactions in cyberspace compared with face-to-face meetings?

Face-to-face Social Interaction
Social Interaction in face-to-face meetings are more genuine. What you see is almost exactly what you get (if not for some wrong presumptions about other people). Aside from that, personal meetings allow people to interact verbally, or physically. It is stated by Hunter that physical interaction stimulates the body and the mind, making it a healthy activity. It provides biological and psychological stimulation which results to actions that are beneficial to the whole community and it also "encourages a more socially oriented populace".

Cyberspace Social Interaction
As compared to face-to-face interaction, in online communication, people can hide their real identities which gives rise to security and trust issues. Internet communication "cannot protect people from deceit" as people have the luxury of anonymity. Online communities do not require physical stimulation aside from typing and reading (if there are any stimulation present at all). It promotes a limited and uncertain world or community.

II. What are the advantages and disadvantages of online interaction compared with meeting people face to face?

First of all, online interaction allows more freedom. It supports and gives birth to modern philosophies that emphasizes neutrality and subjectivity of the being of the soul. It 'disgenders' gender and it allows the focus on individual's choices. Meeting people face to face, however, creates bounds and standards. It also significantly requires more effort to project a social particular image. People may accept or reject you, and the effects are big to the individuals.

Secondly, it broadens communication means. It allows easier, cheaper, maintainable, and varied connections to other people. It allows increased connection between individuals. Geographical boundaries are being surpassed and defeated by online communication where race, gender, and other different factors matter a little lesser. Face-to-face interactions, on the other hand, are difficult to maintain, and at times, are costly. Geographical boundaries can limit this type of communication. It presents more challenges to keep.

Third, Net-based communication provides strong supplemental support to other forms of communication. It also provides more digitally interactive means. it allows easier and more convenient forms of online collaboration even with the presence of the bounds of proximity. Conferences, and other forms of communication can be done online. In contrast, face-to-face interaction requires raw forms of communication.

Fourth, it allows different disabled groups to interact with others. Online communication can be a form of a specialized tool of communication meant to be beneficial for specific special groups. In contrast, face-to-face interaction presents various limitations between different specialized groups and other "normal" communities. Rejection of these specialized, among others, are big problems in the personal, face-to-face interaction.

Last among others, but not the least, online communities encourage socially beneficial behaviour. It allows ease of entry and to different sorts of communities. If an individual wants to enter a particular community, he/she can do it with ease. If one feels uncomfortable in a particular community, one can easily dismiss himself/herself from it, unlike face-to-face interaction which extremely affects a person both in entry and rejection in and of a particular community.

Online interaction is a very great venue for deceitful identity playing and abusing aother people's trust. It obviously doesn't protect people from being secure about their own and other's online information. Since cyberspace defeats lots of boundaries and limitations present in the real world, truth and identity is very much relative. Face-to-face interaction, on the other hand, encourages genuinity of the character of individuals, encourages trust, and other healthy activities that promote social well-being, among others.

Online interaction also depersonalizes communication. Users have found lack of emotions and feelings in cyberspace communication as compared to face-to-face interactions. It sometimes causes miscommunication of felings. Face-to-face interaction, however, allows more perceivable emotions through gestures, tones, eye-contact, and the like.

Words aired in online interaction are characterized as duplicitious, and even self-deceiving. Individuals can project an entirely different persona than they are in the real world through cyberspace. Unlike cyberspace interaction, face-to-face communication allows, again, genuinity of words and thoughts communicated to others. It is so because people are able to perceive more clearly and more powerfully through personal/face-to-face interaction.

Lastly, but not the least, online interaction causes a decrease in the political involvement of people. It decreases social capital due to a shift from the face-to-face community into cyberspace. People become less and less involved with others. It also disallows the many benefits of personal interaction described in the early parts of this paper (e.g. overall individual biological and psychological well-being). In contrast, face-to-face interaction, aside from the points already mentioned, allows and builds up social capital through involvement of people with others.

Wobbrock, J. (2003). The benefits of physical edges in gesture-making: empirical support for an edge-based unistroke alphabet. Retrieved February 9, 2008 from the World Wide Web:

Hunter, B. (N.D.). The subtle benefits of face-to-face communication. Retrieved February 9, 2008, from the World Wide Web:

Google search. Benefits of Physical Interaction. Retrieved February 9, 2009 from the World Wide Web:


  1. Thanks mate, helped me alot in my project.

  2. Welcome, hope you learned something! ;-)

  3. It helps me a lot too , thanks alot ! (:

  4. Please do not plagiarise, and quote properly. Thanks!

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