Even Dickens Knew: Nothing Substitutes Face-to-Face

An email passed through my inbox this week containing a quote from Charles Dickens inspiring me to write this blog post. It’s funny how some ideas resonate through time, despite the vast differences in settings and circumstances.

“Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true.” —Charles Dickens

Paradoxically, these words reflect rather closely the processes behind the publishing of Dickens’ works. A literary genius beyond his time, many of the complexities in his novels weren’t fully appreciated until contemporary academics and critics explored them more deeply. His distribution, or communication, method could have played a role in this: Dickens published his works serially via monthly installments in magazines. While Dickens’ novels are rich with insights and wisdom, one can only wonder how impactful a face-to-face conversation with the great author might be.

Today electronic communication encumbers our lives more than ever before. We communicate in a fragmented fashion similar to Dickens’ serial publishing, bit by bit. In fact, for many, digital interaction has become the preferred method of communication for many people, admittedly myself included, and rightly so in many cases. Texting, email, instant messaging, and tweeting provide us opportunities to stay connected as never before. These communication methods create a platform to keep in touch while staying mobile, in a more organized and intuitive fashion than could have ever been imagined in Dickens’ age. But at what cost does the prevalence of electric communications come?

Certainly a double-edged sword; while digital interaction can keep us closer in theory, it carries with it a certain artificial taste. Texting meaningful sentiments don’t produce the same feelings as speaking those words to someone while looking them in the eye. Perhaps our reliance on communication via technology – and the resultant typicality its frequency produces – has arguably damaged our standards of what a meaningful relationship consists of as a society. Applicable from the personal life to the business life, meeting face-to-face brings something vital to interaction.

That’s why PGi’s meeting products are video-centric. iMeet and GlobalMeet provide video capabilities whether you’re on the go, in the office, or at home, allowing you to meet in a meaningful way regardless of the circumstances. There’s nothing that helps everyone engage in discussion more than seeing the face of the person they’re talking with. As Dickens indicates in his quote, the face says it all.

Bring some personality back into your virtual communications, meet face-to-face and let your conversations feel genuine again. It will surprise you just how natural video makes your interaction feel.


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