About the importance of an eye contact during a conversation
Eye contact is a type of body language that is extremely important during communication and conversation. It is a fundamental part of human social interaction.
A field study on a university campus in the USA found that making eye contact with strangers leaves us feeling more socially connected, whereas if someone avoids our gaze, we are more likely to feel disconnected.
Looking someone in the eyes while listening to them lets them know that (with a high probability) your truly are paying attention to them. Wondering eyes don’t necessary mean that you are not listening to them, but.. oh, what a nice bow-tie that man has! There is a possibility that you are not giving them your full attention.
Eye contact is also one way to show respect – while thanking someone, acknowledging something being said or just giving your undivided attention.
You can also do simultaneous „talking“ with your eyes and face – reacting, showing emotions, agreeing or disagreeing etc. This means that there is no need for back and forth talking to show your reaction, like you would do on the phone.
A study by Gentiana Sadikaj and D.S. Moskowitz (2018) found that the accuracy of perceiving affiliation was higher when interacting in-person than over the phone.
"These benefits are thought to stem from the presence of more communication channels for the expression and reception of affiliative cues and the effortless processing of these cues.“ This means that seeing your partners face and hands during a conversation helps in understanding each other better.
„Because we are better at perceiving another person’s affiliative behavior during in-person interactions, we may enjoy and find in-person interactions more rewarding than technology-mediated interactions,“ they write.
We at GrandTime believe that even though video calling is also a technology-mediated interaction and it can never substitute a real life conversation, seeing the face of your partner, being able to see their eyes, shake your head or wave your hands at them is still a superior way of communication to a regular phone conversation.
This is also why we didn’t make an easy to use app for audio calls – our end goal has always been to be able to see who you are talking to! This also helps older people who might have a cognitive decline.
During our app testing period, many family members said that they had to identify themselves multiple times during a regular phone call, but not any more.
Remember – maintaining eye contact with someone you are talking to displays interest and tells them „you are important and I am actively listening.“ It can also make older people feel secure as they can see who they are talking to.
Download GrandTime and start video calling today!